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Aiken County pupils begin new school year

Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Madelyn Ricker shows off her new Rapunzel backpack to a teacher on her first day of kindergarten at North Augusta Elementary on Monday, August 20, 2012.
Monday, Aug 20, 2012 9:23 AM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 1:20 AM
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NORTH AUGUSTA — Ja­cobie Owens stood with his sister in front of North Augusta Elementary School on Monday morning as he waited to start his first day of school.

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North Augusta Elementary School Principal Laurie Reese watches kindergarten pupils make their way to class on the first day.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
North Augusta Elementary School Principal Laurie Reese watches kindergarten pupils make their way to class on the first day.

Before leaving home, the family had taken pictures and said a prayer for the school year, said his adult sister, Shatara Jones.

“We wanted to make sure he started off the school year in the right way,” she said.

Jacobie, a fourth-grader, was excited about the first day and was eager to have fun, make friends and learn a lot, he said.

Near the cafeteria, Principal Laurie Reese greeted pupils and parents as they arrived. Seeing the pupils’ excitement is the best part about the first day, she said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing our students succeed and continue their great achievements,” she said.

In the first-grade pod area, Katie Gates told pupils what they are to do when they arrive each morning.

“I enjoy seeing their excitement,” Gates said. “I’m excited about what’s ahead this school year. I want them to be successful and meet their individual goals.”

By lunchtime Monday at North Augusta Middle School, the school day was in full swing without any problems, Principal Wendy Jacobs said.

“The first day of school has been extremely smooth, calm, and the students knew where to report, where to go,” she said. “It’s one of the smoothest first days I’ve seen. It’s been seamless.”

Sixth-grader Trenton Butler was a little nervous coming into the day, but that didn’t last long, he said.

“It’s been a really good day,” the 11-year-old said. “So far, I’ve learned what we should do and how we should do things at the school.”

He was most excited about what he’ll do in his math and science classes, his favorite subjects, he said.

Now among the oldest students in the school, eighth-grader Carly Wolf wants to “be a good role model for those going to sixth and seventh grades,” she said. She also has set her academic goals for the year.

“I want to get all A’s”, she said.

Eighth-grader Emily Biebesheimer said she was excited to see everyone.

“I’m looking forward to learning how to speak Spanish and cheering,” she said.

With the school year under way, it’s now time to focus on academics, Jacobs said.

“North Augusta Middle School has a tradition of academic excellence that has been established, and I’m looking forward to maintaining and building on those academic standards this year,” the principal said.


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