Coweta rings in new school year

White Oak Elementary School media specialist April Young, at left, sets up new computers in the school’s new media center expansion before the start of the school year. She is helped by 4th grader Joey Foerster and 1st grader Emma Foerster. Photo/Special.

Aug. 6 was the first day of school for more than 22,000 students across Coweta County. And for a number of students the return to classes came with upgrades to some schools.

“It was a very good first day,” said Superintendent Steve Barker. “Our transportation staff was already hard at work by (5:30 a.m.). I was able to touch base with our schools and administrators throughout the day, and had very good reports. Our schools had a very productive day, and we’re looking forward to an outstanding school year."

School system spokesman Dean Jackson said the school system’s total count of students stood at about 22,200 by the end of the day. That figure was slightly higher than the first day last year, after which the school population grew to 22,498 students by the last day of the school year. Student enrollment is expected to grow through the first weeks of August as new students continue to register and as Pre-Kindergarten students begin their first day on Aug.16, Jackson said.

Jackson said the students at some schools returned to campuses that had undergone a significant amount of work during the summer break. Among those was a two-year renovation of Newnan High School’s 1952 campus that was completed before the first day on Aug. 6, as were the final touches on new homeside stands at Newnan’s Drake Stadium. White Oak Elementary School students returned to find a renovated school, as well as an expansion to the school’s media center. Western and Ruth Hill Elementary schools also underwent renovations during the summer break. And the Central Educational Center has a new roof while Smokey Road and Madras Middle School both received new flooring, Jackson said.

Along with new students arriving at county schools, many schools also had new teachers. Coweta County Board of Education members and school administrators welcomed 58 new teachers to the Coweta School system on July 30.

The teachers ranged from kindergarten to high school and included English, math and science teachers, special education and media specialists, and schools counselors.

Coweta County Board of Education members and Superintendent Barker welcomed the new teachers, as did Assistant Superintendent Mark Guy, Associate Superintendent Jerry Davis and 2012 Coweta County Teacher of the Year Tracie Gossett, of Thomas Crossroads Elementary.

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