School is in ses­sion

NHS gets back to the old grind - in a new build­ing

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

The first day of a new school year is al­ways hec­tic. At the brand-new New­ton High School, close to 2,000 stu­dents re­ported to classes Fri­day in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory .

But ad­min­is­tra­tors, teach­ers and se­lected stu­dents were on hand to an­swer ques­tions and di­rect ev­ery­one through the two-story school’s more than 380,000 square feet of space.

Stu­dent tour guides such as Keiera Cofield and Rhyan Davis were posted in the hall­ways be­tween classes, ready to help their peers find their way.

NHS school se­cre- tary Nichelle Banks, the wel­com­ing face in the school’s front of­fice, an­swered phone calls and even walked par­ents try­ing to reg­is­ter stu­dents to the ap­pro­pri­ate rooms.

Banks said the main ques­tion she was asked dur­ing her first day of

school was, “Where is regis­tra­tion?’’

“The par­ents have been very pa­tient,” Banks said. …”I think be­cause we had ev­ery­one in place— ad­min­is­tra­tors, tour guides, it went a lot smoother than we an­tic­i­pated.”

In the cafe­te­ria, a staff mem­ber said serv­ing lunch on the first day of school is al­ways a bit stress­ful, but lunch was pre­pared in a new kitchen with state-of- the-art equip­ment. As the bell rang for the first lunch shift, stu­dents at first formed a long line, but then scat­tered to dif­fer­ent serv­ing win­dows as they opened.

Many stu­dents used their lunch pe­riod to find their peers and catch up on what hap­pened dur­ing the sum­mer. Se­nior Kyle Stevens said he en­joyed the new cafe­te­ria and added that the food isn’t new. It was, he pointed out, “chicken ten­ders Fri­day.”

As for the teach­ers, many were thrilled to have more class­room space. Agri­cul­ture teacher Melissa Sny­der, who also serves as the Fu­ture Farm­ers of Amer­ica ad­viser, said her new class­room will al­low stu­dents to learn in an open en­vi­ron­ment.

“I love the space be­cause the stu­dents don’t have to be on the top of each other to learn,” Sny­der said. “Stu­dents can have a more hand­son ex­pe­ri­ence. (I) can bring an­i­mals into (the0 class­room, do more lab ac­tiv­i­ties. It’s not just a lec­ture en­vi­ron­ment.”

New NHS prin­ci­pal Eclan David did pa­per­work, talked with ad­min­is­tra­tors, and greeted stu­dents in the cafe­te­ria dur­ing lunch. He said the first day of school, whether in a new or old build­ing, will al­ways be “ex­tremely busy.”

“You are go­ing to have some classes that may be a lit­tle too large or lit­tle too small. [Teach­ers] are go­ing to be work­ing on bal­anc­ing sched­ules, mak­ing sure that the stu­dents have their sched­ules,” David said. “The dif­fer­ence this year is the level of ex­cite­ment.”

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

Thou­sands of stu­dents re­turned to schools across New­ton County Fri­day. For more pic­tures of stu­dents start­ing the school year, see pic­tures you sub­mit­ted to us on page 4B.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

The new New­ton High School hosted its first classes Fri­day.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

Jalen Brown and Win­tress Wor­rell stand in front of the new New­ton High School on Fri­day. Even though the paint was fresh and the floors, prac­ti­cally un­touched, stu­dents said it was busi­ness as usual at NHS, in­clud­ing the sta­ple of “chicken ten­ders Fri­day.”

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