Back-to-School Starts in May, Not August

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From Central Private's The Rebel Yell


Above: Parents of Pre-K and Kindergarten students meet with teachers for orientation.

“It must be great being a teacher; I mean, you get two entire months to do nothing during the summer!” says the random person to the random teacher.  The random teacher grits his or her teeth and smiles.  It’s the phrase that we all hate to hear.

“It’s a common misconception people seem to have that schools just shut down and become a ghost town from the end of May to the start of August,” said Mrs. Ellen Frazier, Headmaster.  “I don’t think that the average person realizes just how much activity happens on campus and how active our faculty members are during the summer months.”

 Many of our faculty members take the opportunity during the summer to pick up some additional course work towards continuing education or towards advanced degrees.  For example, Ms. Elizabeth Rea, high school English teacher, spent a good portion of her summer in classes at LSU working towards an advanced degree. “I was enrolled in three master’s level classes this summer,” said Ms. Rea. “I’m 6 hours away from graduation.”

But that was not Ms. Rea’s only summer duty. At the end of last school year, she volunteered to take on the role of varsity cheer sponsor.  This meant attending cheer meetings, practices, and camp around her LSU class schedule.

Some teachers take on extra jobs during the summer.  Mrs. Jill Coon, high school science teacher, took over the responsibilities as the new director for the KidCam summer camp hosted on our campus.

Other teachers rack up miles attending educational conferences. Ms. Alicia Fergerson, high school social studies teacher, was selected as one of thirty teachers across the state to participate in the Louisiana Center for Law & Civic Education’s Summer Institute.  Ms. Fergerson spent an entire week in New Orleans listening to sessions delivered by various judges and attorneys from the local, state, and national level.

“The highlight of the trip was being chosen to serve as a Supreme Court Justice in the mock court,” said Ms. Fergerson. “There were only seven of us chosen for this particular honor. We were able to sit in the chairs of the Louisiana Supreme Court justices in their courtroom and preside over the reenactment.”

Members of the administrative staff attended a RenWeb conference in Orlando, Florida. There they received detailed instructions on some of the newer features available on RenWeb and ParentsWeb. They also had the chance to sit down with company experts to have some of their questions about the system answered.

Other teachers give up time during their summer break to lend a helping hand around the school.  Mrs. Debbie Lacy, kindergarten teacher, stepped up to fill a void left by the loss of our school guidance counselor, Mrs. Debbie Pierce.  “There is a massive list of supplies and books that have to be compiled, ordered, and inventoried during the summer from several different textbook and resource providers,” said Mrs. Frazier. “Mrs. Lacy offered to lend a hand with the orders and ended up taking on the entire project. She was truly a life saver.”

Mr. Bill Wilkins, Maintenance Head, starts his summer with a long list of repairs and upgrades that have to be completed before the new school year begins. This summer he had the assistance of seniors Luke Fryoux & Marcus Sandifer, juniors Tyler Baggett & Ward Leavines, and sophomores Mason Goynes & Rhett Seguin.  “This summer, we took down the old building behind the weight room, replaced lights in the entire school, painted a classroom, reorganized Mr. Bill’s office, installed new dry erase boards, buffed the floors in the main hallway, and completed other small repairs on campus,” said Marcus Sandifer.

 Members of the yearbook staff spent most of June putting the finishing touches on the 2010-2011 yearbook.  “Some of us were at the school working for five or six hours a day, two or three days each week,” said 2011 graduate and yearbook editor Amy Galiano. “I’m really proud of the book that we produced, and I can’t wait to see the finished product when it comes in.”

Student athletes could be seen on campus on almost any day. The weight room was open for summer football conditioning twice a day, three days a week. Summer baseball and basketball camps were held for various age groups.  Softball players worked hard to prepare for the upcoming season, which actually opened last week.

Last, but by no means least, are the parent volunteers. These parents show up on weekends or in the evenings, after their full time jobs, to do the things that just need to be done. This summer, parent volunteers have stripped and re-waxed the floors in every classroom, cleaned the trophy cases, prepared ball fields for fall sports, re-striped the parking lots and street, and helped with various fund raisers for their athletes’ teams. Additionally, some have served as “extra” coaches or drivers for practices and camps.

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