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Something to cheer about
Students get back in the classroom for the 2004-2005 school year

Repairs have been completed; all the desks are in place, and the children are back in the building.


Superintendent Mark Petersen applauds teachers during the start-of-the-year assembly at Thomson High School Tuesday.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
School started in McDuffie County today.

And the staff of the McDuffie County School System was ready.

"I feel a little electricity in the air," said Superintendent Mark Petersen on Monday, the day teachers came back to work in preparation for the students' return. "I've talked with several of the principals; they've had several staff meetings today, and their staffs are pretty excited about getting cranked up."

Tuesday morning saw the kickoff of the school year with the county-wide meeting of teachers in Thomson High School's auditorium. The Bulldog Brigade band played, and the faculty was able to meet its new superintendent for the first time.

With all the anticipation of the first day, school officials were prepared for a solid start to what they hope will be a good year.

"Certainly the big day is Thursday with hopes and prayers that it goes smoothly," Dr. Petersen said. "We anticipate that it will. Everybody will be back on track. It will be interesting to see how it pans out."

But the past week wasn't all it took to be ready for the year. Custodians, maintenance personnel, secretaries and administrators have been working long hours to make sure the schools would be ready for today.

Bus drivers even met on Monday to discuss new rules and safety procedures. As far as the school buildings go, this past weekend included a final push for staff to have everything in place for the neJASON B. SMITH Staff Superintendent Mark Petersen applauds teachers during the start-of-the-year assembly at Thomson High School Tuesday.w school year.

"We have crews working the weekend trying to get schools ready," said Jim Franklin, assistant superintendent for administrative services, late last week. "We'll be ready for the students on Thursday. We should have everything out of the way and moving forward by that particular time."

With all the preparations complete, and students back in the routine of school once again, the school system settles in for another year. But if the leader of McDuffie County Schools is any indication, the level of excitement has certainly reached a pinnacle.

"We're excited. We anticipate our student body is ready to come back," Dr. Petersen said. "I can hardly stand it myself."

Web posted on Thursday, August 5, 2004

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