08/20/09 — Wayne County students get glimpses of schools

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Wayne County students get glimpses of schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 20, 2009 1:46 PM

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Greenwood Middle School math teacher Robin Re, second from left, talks with Rhonda Wolske, right, Hannah Wolske, 9, and Cody Wolske, 13, about Cody's upcoming classes this year during the open house held Wednesday evening.

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Charles B. Aycock student adviser Yvonne Mills, left, helps 10th-grader Victoria Liles, center, with her class schedule as her mother, Deborah Bovankovich, looks on during open house.

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Southern Wayne students Lisa Myers, Jessie Sauls, Kailin Brock and Ashley Holloman look over their class schedules for the upcoming year at Southern Wayne High School. Students all around the county will head back to school Tuesday.

Middle and high schools around the county welcomed families Wednesday night as part of the district's open house to usher in the new school year.

Hallways filled quickly as students reunited with friends or located schedules and supply lists before classes resume on Aug. 25.

Greenwood Middle School principal Rolanda Best likened open house to a first date.

"It's a chance to check each other out and the beginning of a relationship," she said.

The occasion is also an opportunity to provide support.

"We value our parents," she said. "Their involvement is needed and critical to the success of our students and our school."

Cameron Foster, a seventh-grader, said she doesn't have a favorite subject but is anxiously anticipating the "new math. We're getting more into it."

And while she is also looking forward to involvement in the Beta Club, which she was inducted into in sixth grade, she admits, "Summer went by so fast."

Lori Cardin accompanied her son, Andrew, an eighth-grader new to the school, in learning his way around. It wasn't a challenge for her, she said, because she is a substitute at Greenwood.

It will also be a new school for Destiny Graves, an eighth-grader who transferred from Eastern Wayne Middle.

"I'm nervous," she admitted. "But I'm looking forward to making new friends."

Mom Coressa Mitchell said she was there to meet Destiny's teachers and to get a class schedule.

"I came in a couple weeks ago to talk to counselors so I kind of know what to look for," she said.

The Porter family is new to everything, having moved to Wayne County from Guam this summer.

"I'm looking forward to getting back on a routine," mom Julie said.

Fifth-grader Frankie said she was excited about not having to wear a uniform like she did at her former school.

"I will be happy about getting out of my cast," said brother Nick, an eighth-grader, raising his left arm. He hopes the cast will come off by the time school starts.

Younger brother Jackson also tagged along. The second-grader at Meadow Lane Elementary will attend his open house tonight.

At the school's front entrance, Greenwood cheerleaders Mierra Reid and Aundrea Dunn, both eighth-graders, greeted arrivals.

Although familiar with the school already, the upperclassmen have goals of their own.

"This year I'm just ready to make principal's List," Mierra said.

At Rosewood High School, it was a reunion of sorts for new principal Dean Sauls, who until recently had been serving in an administrative role at the county office. Previously, though, he had been a familiar face in education at schools in the northern end of the county.

"I'm seeing kids that I taught, their students are out here from Norwayne and CBA because they moved to this area," Sauls said in a congested hallway.

This summer preceding his arrival has been an adjustment in more ways than one, he said.

"The air conditioner has conked out, and they're replacing it," he said. "They turned it off Monday of last week, and they have turned it back on. ... The closer you get to my office, the hotter it is."

Rosewood is one of the area schools having new "air handlers" installed over the summer months, Sauls said. In the interim, they had a "real short faculty meeting today," he said with a laugh.

Sauls was frequently interrupted by former students now bringing their own children to the school. Vicki Quillen was one of them.

"(Sauls) was one of my teachers, the only teacher I have ever had to spank me, and my parents gave him permission because I wouldn't do what I was supposed to do," she said with a smile. Now two of her children and her stepdaughter will be among his charges in the fall.

"I'm a stickler for school," she said, explaining that she just finished nursing school and is awaiting results of the board exam.

Debbie Bailey, NC Wise data manager at the school, was positioned at the front office to provide directions and to answer questions. She said she was all set for the upcoming school year.

"I'm real excited," she said. "We have got a new principal this year. I'm just looking forward to good things."

High on senior Will Grantham's list is graduation. Navigating the halls to check out his schedule, he said he wasn't nervous because he enjoys school.

"I like it a lot. It keeps me busy," he said.

Tenth-grader Elaine Howell favors math, but had a different mission in mind during her open house visit.

"Finding out who my teachers are, seeing if they're fun," she said.

FFA members were positioned throughout the campus to assist where needed.

Karen Babb and Morgan Herring reflected on the fact that this is their senior year at the school.

"I can't believe it's over," Morgan said.

"I can't believe it's the last year," Karen said. "It's flown by so fast."

Meanwhile, classmate Fran-cesca Verceles-Zara, waiting in business teacher Cathy Best's class, said she plans to enjoy her senior year before heading off to college.

"I'm trying to get the most out of what I have left here," she said.