FORSYTH COUNTY — The 2014-15 school year began with a short two-day week Thursday and Friday for Forsyth County Schools, giving the system’s 42,000 students — as well as staff and parents — a chance to adjust to the new routine.
The start was great at Silver City Elementary, with excitement all around, according to Principal Paige Andrews.
“I like seeing [that] in the students’ faces. They genuinely love going to school,” Andrews said. “Here at Silver City, we want to make it a place that students want to be.
“I see them giving big hugs to teachers that they had last year and the excitement in their faces when they go to meet their new teacher.”
Andrews, who is entering her third year as principal of the school near the Forsyth-Dawson County line, also looks forward to the start of school each year.
“My staff kids me. I always buy a new dress for the first day of school,” she said. “I haven’t lost my excitement about the first day.”
And with about 1,050 students, Silver City is not immune to traffic issues, which are likely to resume Monday across the county.
“Our car line is a little long, but we iron out those kinks, and after about three or four days everything gets quicker because we all get in the routine,” she said. “The first couple of days it takes a little longer to get home, but our parents have been very understanding about that.”
Like Andrews, new West Forsyth High Principal Heather Gordy said she also enjoys the first few days of school.
“Our student government association put together a back-to-school video, and they did an excellent job with that,” she said. “There’s been a lot of enthusiasm. We had our clubs and sports teams out at all of our entrances welcoming students back to school. It’s just a very positive vibe.”
Gordy, who previously served as an assistant principal at Lambert High, said she is “thrilled” with her new role at West.
“People have been very welcoming,” she said. “I’m learning a lot every day and getting to know the community and it’s very exciting.
“I’m looking forward to taking part in all the athletic activities and fine art activities, getting to know the people and getting to know the community.”
Mitch Young, who is settling into his new position as principal of Forsyth Central High, said he has enjoyed getting to know the staff at the school in Cumming.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know members of our community … we hired 27 new folks this year, so there’s a lot of work going in to make sure that they blend together with our faculty,” said Young, who came to Central from West, where he was an assistant principal.
“I think the best thing we did to kick things off was we had our first annual Central family cookout, where we had all of our faculty and staff and their families with some live entertainment provided by our musical teachers.”
Young said the students also participated in back-to-school celebrations, including a pep rally intended to welcome freshmen to the school.
He always anticipates the start of school and getting to know the students.
“If you don’t get excited about the first day of school as a teacher or administrator at this time of year, you probably need to find some way else to make a living,” he said. “There’s so much good vibe at the start of the year. I think that gets me going every year.”