White Plains open house gives Plainsmen Stars a chance to shine
by David Broyles Staff Reporter
It’s almost a given the beginning of the school year open house at White Plains Elementary is going to be well attended. Parents, teachers, children and administrators questioned agreed the school serves as the hub of the community.
Automobiles lined the parking lot Thursday night and overflowed onto the green field. Children squeezed a little more summer out of the evening by tossing football on the front lawn. New Principal DeAnne Danley, who advanced to the post from an assistant principalship at Dobson Elementary, and Assistant Principal Amber Flippen greeted students and parents with smiles.
“It (the open house) has been just wonderful,” said Danley. “The faculty and staff have worked hard to be ready for parents and students tonight. We also have a new roof.” Danley was referring to recent leaks in the roofing to the building which was opened in 1990. She said the school’s new slogan this year is “White Plains Elementary — A place where our students shine.”
“We are going along with the Surry County School’s theme of ‘Ignite the Light’ this year,” Danley said. “We are the White Plains Plainsmen Stars. Parents here want to come out and meet the teachers and learn about the policies and procedures. The kids are always excited. This school is a very strong community school. Our students take part in many service projects.”
Five-year-old Cody Boyd was putting away blocks in the kindergarten room of Trina Goettel and Susan Ayers. He said summer was good and he was “a little bit excited” about going to school. He said he had enjoyed hitting baseball and fishing for bass with his father, Bobby Ball, at Red’s Fish Lake. His mother, Heidi Boyd, smiled and confirmed he had caught seven big fish.
Ayers and Goettel said the summer had been packed with professional development workshops. They said they were just like the kids who were looking forward to returning to school.
In another wing of the school, first-grader Clayton Todd said he was glad to be back and he missed his friends. He said his favorite part of the summer was going to the pool, Myrtle Beach and Dollywood. Fifth-grader Tyler Frazier said he was ready to come back to school three weeks ago. His favorite part of the summer was going to a Myrtle Waves in South Carolina. He said it was “just an awesome water park.”
First-grade teachers Rachel King and Jan Beasley appeared excited 100 percent of their parents and students had participated in the open house.
“It was wonderful. All 18 of our kids participated,” said King. “This is always the most exciting time. The kids are excited to get back and to get to know each other again. We always have a good turnout. It’s always really like family.”
Beasley talked about how inspiring Teacher of the Year Pedro Caro was at convocation. She was deeply touched by how his students were involved in the speech, emphasizing deeds over words and how he appreciates America. Beasley also could not let a chance go by to brag on her two daughters who are also teachers. Carla Wilkins teaches first grade at Mountain Park and Lori Beasley teaches fourth grade at Dobson Elementary.
“Both my girls love it (teaching) with a passion,” said Beasley as she smiled. Flippen also agreed Caro’s speech was a powerful part of convocation.
“I think my favorite part was Pedro Caro’s students coming out on the stage with him. It emulates what this profession is all about. The students’ story tells the school story,” said Flippen. “Summer has been full and we are all energized with a new look on the students and everyone I haven’t seen for several years in Surry County. We came into education for kids. Summer break is good….for three weeks. We want to see them back.”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.
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