Lee Schools open new year

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal Kindergarten teacher Sarah Roach talks to her new students as they color on the first day of school Wednesday morning at Verona Elementary School.

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal
Kindergarten teacher Sarah Roach talks to her new students as they color on the first day of school Wednesday morning at Verona Elementary School.

By Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

VERONA – Jathan Derrick, 5, was ready to start school for the first time.

“I’m excited,” the Verona Elementary kindergartner said while flashing a big smile and jumping up and down on Wednesday morning. “We get to play on the playground.”

Wednesday marked the first day of school for students in the Lee County School District and several other local school districts. Yellow buses were again a common sight on Northeast Mississippi roads.

Vonda Kennedy said her five-year-old son Randell Moore woke up before she did on Wednesday and was eager to start kindergarten at Verona.

“He said he’s ready to meet his teachers and his new friends,” Kennedy said. “He said, ‘Let’s hurry up and get here.”

Meanwhile, Shannon High School senior Alivia Roberts, 17, reflected on starting her last year in Lee County Schools.

“I’m super pumped,” she said. “I’m excited to make it to senior year, but I’m not ready to graduate and leave yet.”

At Saltillo Primary, the school’s location off Highway 45 can lead to long lines on the highway, especially on the first day when parents walk to class with their children.

Principal Ken Smith said the school and police department made some adjustments this year.

“It went really well,” Smith said. “The Saltillo Police Department did a great job of keeping the flow going.

“We had discussed a few possible changes to keep traffic from being gridlocked, and it worked well. We only have a certain amount of parking and everyone was patient and cooperative.”