Shortly after sunrise at Jackson-Steele Elementary in White Hall, principal Bessie Morgan welcomed day one with a cheerful smile and the very attitude she wants to spread this year.
"Our primary job is to make sure that we get in here and set the tone for our kids," said Morgan.
No doubt the little ones were nervous and not sure what to make of their new journey in the classroom. Orianna Gordon has been there, done that. Gordon begins her collegiate career this month after graduating from high school in Lowndes County in May. She had a word of advice for those just starting out.
"Stick to it.. things are not as they always seem.. and after the first day things go just fine," said Gordon who will be a freshman at Tuskegee University this fall majoring in computer science.
Inside, teachers got down to business and laid down the law.
"You're ready to look, listen and learn," said one teacher.
"You will work hard," said another teacher at Hayneville Middle School several miles away.
Lowndes County has seven public schools with a student population of around 1,500.
"We're really proud of the fact we have an 89.3 percent graduation rate and the state average is 89.1 percent, so we have surpassed the state average at this particular point so we want to continue improving the rate," said Lowndes County Public School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd.
Boyd says the school district is planning its 10th annual Back to School Rally on Aug. 19 in Hayneville at the Russell baseball field.
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