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School bells ring in first day of 2014-15 school year

New Salem Principal Byran Lynip welcomes students. (Below) Cassie Blackman, at left, and her husband, Brandon Blackman, were on hand to bring their son, Graham, for his first day of kindergarten. One Porter Ridge Elementary student seems a little nervous on the first day of school.

Aug. 25 was the first day of school for Union County Public Schools. With 53 schools, more than 42,000 students and approximately 315 buses on the roads, overall, today was a great day in UCPS.

“I was in many schools today and I saw students and teachers engaged in learning,” said Dr. Mary Ellis, Superintendent of Union County Public Schools. “Positive energy was apparent across the county.”

Parkwood High School Principal Stephanie McManus said the first day ran very smoothly.

“We had a smooth start to the day," she said. "Kids seemed to be very focus and excited. The students did well and 

seemed happy to be back at school, relaxed after a good summer break. There were some new faces of teachers and students. They were excited to get to know one another, whether that was teachers or students. It’s excited to get to know new people and learn what they have to offer.”

Prospect Elementary Principal Kim Chinnis said her school had a great first day. Teachers were prepared and students came ready to learn.

“Everything has gone very smoothly this morning,” Chinnis said. “All our buses were on time. We were very impressed with the 

transportation department this morning. We were also very impressed with our parents in the car rider line. We’re off to a great start.”

Chinnis said all of the Prospect teachers and students seemed excited to start another school year. “Our kids are ready. The school is ready. We’re so excited to start a new school year.”

Piedmont High School Principal Jonathan Tyson said the first day at his school also went very well. “I think our first day was a great success,” Tyson said. “Our kids came in eager for a new school year. We hadvery few problems with kids engaging in the learning process. We look forward to getting back in a routine where learning is a priority.”

Prospect parents Brandon Blackman, and his wife, Cassie Blackman, were on hand to bring their son, Graham, for his first day of kindergarten. Although a little nervous, he had great incentive to make it through the first week with no tears or other problems. If he’s successful, he gets a new bicycle.

Graham joins his older sister, Lexi, who is in the second grade. “We’ve been very, very pleased with Prospect, with Lexi here since kindergarten and now with Graham,” said Brandon Blackman.

“We’ve been pleased with the teachers and the administration," he added. "There’s lots of communication here, which we like. Lexi has made a lot of good friends. Now we’re hoping that Graham will make lots of friends.”

According to UCPS Safety Director Jarrod McCraw, there were no major problems reported with either the schools or the UCPS school buses.

Students who attend school on the year-round calendar began school Aug. 4, 2014. Union County Early College students began classes Aug. 5, 2014.


Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Aug 25, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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