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It’s Time: Jefferson County schools, students, teachers gear up for brand new year

By Staff | Aug 18, 2017

Maybe it’s the long ride home from vacation. Or maybe it’s the eye-catching posters reminding of our annual “Identity Crisis,” or signs for the upcoming Jefferson County Fair. But, most definitely, by the time you start seeing television ads with tweens bouncing through school hallways wearing the latest and greatest fashions, all while carting colorful notebooks, perfectly sharpened pencils and popping sugary snacks in their mouths, you’ll know it’s time.

That time for Jefferson County students is Monday.

Five-year-old McKinsey Coon is “super excited” to be starting kindergarten at C.W. Shipley Elementary.

“I can’t wait to meet new friends to hang out with,” she said.

The subjects she is most interested in learning this year are art and math.

“As a parent, I am both excited and nervous about my daughter starting school. I am excited for her to start her journey and find new friends that she connects with and can grow with throughout her school career,” said Travis Coon II, McKinsey’s father. “Academically, I am beyond excited that she will be attending C.W. Shipley. Their reputation precedes them and I have faith that her academic needs will not just be met, but she will be pushed to foster the most growth possible.”

Math teacher Allison McKee stated that she was also both excited and nervous about the new school year.

“I am nervous because I am entering a new school with new faces and new co-workers. I will be at Washington High this year – previously at Jefferson High for four years. I am excited though because I have already been welcomed into a new department of wonderful teachers,” she said. “I hope to accomplish great things with my students and hopefully get most of them to understand and love math even more. Since last summer I have been working with Clendenin Elementary School, which was flooded out last summer in Southern West Virginia. I now continue to get the school food for the backpack program. I also get the teachers supplies for their classrooms as needed. This is an area that is still recovering and still doesn’t have a lot of resources around them.”

For donation information, contact Mckee at armckee@12.wv.us.

Michelle Cotta-Rickard, of Harper’s Ferry, homeschools her ninth grade daughter. She, along with several others, posted her feelings on Facebook.

“Is anyone else totally freaking about the upcoming year? I am. … I feel like my daughter is starting ninth grade in high school and I want her to step up her classes. I’m concerned about math and science. I don’t have an English curriculum yet and still need to buy the math curriculum I want. … The more I think the more anxiety I feel,” Cotta-Rickard posted.

She is a member of the Eastern Panhandle Homeschoolers and encourages other homeschool parents to join their Facebook page for ideas and support.

Bailey Dillow, a 2015 Jefferson High graduate, begins her third year as a nursing major and flyer on the Shepherd University Cheerleading squad.

“We have already won three National Championship titles in my first two years at Shepherd and am looking forward to bringing home more this year,” Dillow said. “Sometimes I think I have too much on my plate. I have tests, papers due, cheer squad and my job as a tumble instructor at Flip Over Gymnastics. But in the end, I always manage to get it done.”

While the school year gets underway around the county – whether first-time students, or seasoned schooling veterans – nerves and excitement abound.