School is in for the NA area

  • Thursday, August 22, 2013

Photo by Bill Bengtson John Murphy, moving into his role as the new principal at North Augusta High School, provides a little navigation assistance on Monday morning for freshman Ryan Reese, 15, as students head for their first class of the school year.


The first school bells of the 2013-14 school year rang on Monday morning.

Each of the area schools opened up their doors to students once again. While some were excited to be back and to see their friends, others wished that vacation lasted a bit longer. Of course there were many stories to tell.

At Victory Christian School, one sophomore decided to do something other than going to the beach and hanging out with her friends.

“My granny has had cancer for a couple of years, and I felt like the lord needed me to donate my hair,” Mia Mancusi said. “Everyone has said how pretty my hair is, and I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t I bless someone else with it?’”

Mancusi is a volleyball, basketball and softball player and is also a cheerleader. Her hair got to a peak of 12 inches before she cut it.

Though she was excited to be back and see her friends, in other locations, some students weren’t quite as sure.

“I am kind of excited, but scared of how fourth grade will turn out for me. I’m glad to see my friends and teachers, though,” said Hayley Ragsdale, a fourth-grader at Belvedere Elementary.

For kindergartner Mike Harley O’Hara, 5, at Mossy Creek Elementary School, “recess” is the best part of the deal, and his plans are to “make friends and have fun.”

Seeing friends again was also a big deal for Brooklyn Winburn, 8, a third-grader at Hammond Hill Elementary.

“I haven’t seen my friends, really, this summer, and I’m glad to see them,” she said.

At North Augusta Elementary the word of the day was “smooth,” according to principal Laurie Reese.

“It’s been very smooth, probably the smoothest first day back that I’ve had, and it’s my fifth year here. I think the parents coming last Friday helped, they knew where their children’s classrooms were and where to go. Everybody was very calm and cooperative, and everything went well,” she said.

Abby Thornton, a seventh-grader at Paul Knox, had her eyes on one of the biggest perks of moving up in the world.

“I’m looking forward to not being a little sixth-grader anymore, and I get the bigger lockers,” she said.

Finally, at the high school level, North Augusta High School senior Josh Miller said he’s looking forward to “leaving here early, or getting here late.” His school days will include some traveling time, as he also studies welding at the Aiken County Career Center.

Lawrence Duncan, a junior, said that he “likes the new principal,” John Murphy.

At Fox Creek High School, Melodie Still is starting her first year teaching chemistry with the school.

“It’s been great. When I first got hired here, everyone was so friendly and welcoming,” she said.

Jarius Byrd, a junior, declared himself to be “Mr. Football” in Still’s class and was looking forward to Friday nights.

“It’s school, and you can’t really turn up for school, but I do my best,” he said. “Mrs. Still is my favorite teacher so far.”

Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.

The North Augusta Star

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