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Smooth start to school year
Officials pleased with first day
lambert 5 jd
The Forsyth County school system opened five new campuses Monday, including Lambert High (above), Lakeside Middle and Brookwood, Haw Creek and Whitlow elementary schools.


* A lot of traffic, 1 false alarm.

With five new schools and more than 1,000 additional students, the 2009-10 school year is under way in Forsyth County.

School Superintendent Buster Evans said he was "thrilled [Monday] went as smooth as it did."

Evans said he also was impressed with the precision of the district's newest facilities.

"The new schools looked great and everybody did a great job," Evans said. "Quite honestly, things could not have gone better."

The school system opened five new campuses Monday: Lambert High, Lakeside Middle and Brookwood, Haw Creek and Whitlow elementary schools. They are the district's first new schools since 2007 and the most it has opened at any one time.

Teachers, students and staff on the new campuses seemed pleased with the first day of classes Monday. Principal Gary Davison stood in the hallway of Lambert, greeting students and faculty.

"It's been a good process opening this school," said Davison, who was previously principal of South Forsyth High. "We couldn't have opened this school without the community. For the last 18 months, they've helped with everything."

Lambert student Murphy Tolleson was pleased with the new building.

"I like it," Tolleson said. "It's a nice school. Great first day."

Lambert math teacher Deidre Zink agreed.

"It's great. The whole school's full of energy," she said.

Brookwood Principal Kathie Braswell said her school had a "great first morning."

"The kids are having a great day," she said. "I think everybody loves the new building."

Braswell, the former principal of Mashburn Elementary, said the key to success was letting students become familiar with the building before the first day of classes.

"They had two other opportunities to be in the building before this morning," she said. "We had an ice cream social and an open house. I think that helped them get used to everything."

Haw Creek Principal Amy Davis said things went smoothly for students as well as teachers.

"I don't think things could go any smoother," said Davis, who came to Haw Creek from Chestatee Elementary, where she had been principal.

Haw Creek kindergarten teacher Ginger Clark bragged on her students.

"They are amazing. It's almost like they've done this before," Clark said. "We were going through our procedures, and it looks like lunch and recess are the main things they're interested in on the first day."

Debbie Sarver, principal at Lakeside, said students had been "quiet ... for the most part."

"They're used to sleeping in till noon," said Sarver, formerly a principal at South Forsyth Middle.

Courtney Elmore, an eighth-grader at Lakeside, said she was enjoying her first day at the school.

"It's going good," said Elmore, adding that the new building is "pretty big."

At Whitlow, Principal Lynne Castleberry said her students were "happy to be here on the first day."

Castleberry said the secret to a successful first day at a new school is "getting information out to the community."

For Evans, a successful first day of school means "seeing teachers with those smiles, greeting those children ... that's kind of what it's all about."