08/23/07 — Students, parents visit schools during open house Wednesday

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Students, parents visit schools during open house Wednesday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 23, 2007 1:46 PM

A steady stream of parents and students walked through the halls of middle and high schools around the county Wednesday night, as Wayne County Public Schools held open house in preparation for the start of school on Monday.

The wood floors at Rosewood Middle School were polished to a glossy sheen as teachers and administration waited on the arrival of new and returning students.

Frances Southerland, principal, praised her staff, saying they had worked hard over the summer to ready for a new school year.

"Our staff has made a lot of decisions to improve programs. We had a great beginning," she said. "We're really working on the middle school concept this year -- having more clubs, giving back to the community."

"We're just happy to have everybody come back to school," added Susie Shepard, assistant principal. "The teachers are ready to get started with a wonderful and fantastic year."

Down the hall, Reagan Scheu and Charlotte Kornegay, seventh-grade cheerleaders, were on hand to greet arrivals and give directions.

"We're helping people if they need any questions answered. Then later on, we're going to find our classes," Reagan said.

Both said they were excited about getting back to school.

"I'm ready and I'm excited to see my friends and learn," Reagan said.

Open house is a time to look up classroom assignments, meet teachers and become familiar with the layout of the school before the first day.

Wednesday night, the event was geared for the middle and high schools. Tonight, elementary schools will hold theirs, from 5-7 p.m.

At Greenwood Middle School, Principal Rolanda Best was positioned at the front entrance, greeting families as they arrived.

"It's just a very exciting night to get to see the students with their families and the anticipation they have about 'Who's my teacher and who'll be in my class?'" she said. "It's really our first chance for a first impression for this year so we want people to feel welcome and look forward to working with them and their entire families.

"This is a good way for us to build those relationships that will help their child have success."

Robert Kelley attended with granddaughter Rachel Smith, who will be a fifth-grader at the school.

"It was nice," he said of the event. "The teachers were informative. We're ready. We're set."

Rachel, who was away for most of the summer, said she was looking forward to reuniting with friends, but also enjoyed the chance to meet her new teachers.

Melissa Lundy has two students at the school -- Symone, a seventh-grader, and Maia, who will be in the fifth grade.

The back-to-school event was nice, Ms. Lundy said. "Exactly the way I expected. It ran smoothly."

Rictaveon Greene, a returning eighth grader, was excited to be back at his school.

"I'm trying to go see my teachers," he said. "I'm looking forward to making new friends and seeing who's in my class."

He also hopes to play football again this year, he said.

Mom Adrienne Greene said she was "looking forward to talking to the teachers, see what they're expecting from the students."

Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, a reception had been set up with cold drinks and cookies.

Lucy Farmer, child nutrition manager at the school, said she has been preparing goodies for open house for 11 years, baking chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and sugar cookies. She estimated she had cooked about 1,600 cookies for the occasion.

"(People) come back every year. They say they love them," she said. "It's a big hit. My ladies do a good job. They volunteered their own time."