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TMCNet:  Trinity, Delta Charter focus year on making leaders [The Natchez Democrat, Miss. :: ]

[August 15, 2014]

Trinity, Delta Charter focus year on making leaders [The Natchez Democrat, Miss. :: ]

(Natchez Democrat, The (MS) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 15--NATCHEZ -- Students at two Miss-Lou private schools started class Thursday with a sneak peek into the year ahead.

At Delta Charter School in Ferriday, seventh grader Trace Hilbun didn't have much interest in engineering or computer science before sitting through his first day of class.

Sophia Waldrep celebrated her first day of school at Adams County Christian School. (submitted photo) Sophia Waldrep celebrated her first day of school at Adams County Christian School. (submitted photo) Hays Hegwood, right, started his first day of 4-year-old preschool at Trinity Thursday. His brother Gus, left, can't wait to join him at school in the future. (submitted photo) Hays Hegwood, right, started his first day of 4-year-old preschool at Trinity Thursday. His brother Gus, left, can't wait to join him at school in the future. (submitted photo) Michaela Pierce and Sgt. Pierce pose for a picture before making their way to first day of school at Trinity. (submitted photo) Michaela Pierce and Sgt. Pierce pose for a picture before making their way to first day of school at Trinity. (submitted photo) From left, first graders Caleb Cain, Addison Case, and Christopher Cash work on a connect the dots worksheet during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) From left, first graders Caleb Cain, Addison Case, and Christopher Cash work on a connect the dots worksheet during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Teacher Jeannie Beach smiles as her ninth-grade students introduce themselves during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Teacher Jeannie Beach smiles as her ninth-grade students introduce themselves during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Second-graders Hailey Mize, left, and Titus Harrell, right, work on math problems during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Second-graders Hailey Mize, left, and Titus Harrell, right, work on math problems during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Sixth-graders Trace Miller, left, and Natalie Brandenburg, right, get their school supplies together while social studies teacher Jessica Miller, center, talks to the class during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause) Sixth-graders Trace Miller, left, and Natalie Brandenburg, right, get their school supplies together while social studies teacher Jessica Miller, center, talks to the class during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause) First-grader Hunter Hinton, left, gets chased by classmates during a game of flag tag in physical education class during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) First-grader Hunter Hinton, left, gets chased by classmates during a game of flag tag in physical education class during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Third-graders Charley Prunty, left, and Emily Cash, right, work on answering questions on the board along with the rest of their class during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Third-graders Charley Prunty, left, and Emily Cash, right, work on answering questions on the board along with the rest of their class during the first day of school at Delta Charter School Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Trinity second grader Hite Brown says the Pledge of Allegiance with his classmates on the first day of school at Trinity Episcopal Day School Thursday. (Ben Hillyer) Trinity second grader Hite Brown says the Pledge of Allegiance with his classmates on the first day of school at Trinity Episcopal Day School Thursday. (Ben Hillyer) Lauren and Allison Mcfarland, daughters of Cecelia and Dustin McFarland, on the first day of school year 2014/2015 at Mclaurin elementary Lauren started the second grade and Allison started the third grade.


Lauren and Allison Mcfarland, daughters of Cecelia and Dustin McFarland, on the first day of school year 2014/2015 at Mclaurin elementary Lauren started the second grade and Allison started the third grade.

(submitted photo) (submitted photo) Kaden Coats on the first day of Preschool at Vidalia Lower elementary. He is the son of Phillip and Denver Coats. (submitted photo) Kaden Coats on the first day of Preschool at Vidalia Lower elementary. He is the son of Phillip and Denver Coats. (submitted photo) Caroline and Hudson Sutherland started school at Trinity Episcopal Day School Thursday. Caroline started the fifth grade and Hudson started the first grade. (submitted photo) Caroline and Hudson Sutherland started school at Trinity Episcopal Day School Thursday. Caroline started the fifth grade and Hudson started the first grade. (submitted photo) (submitted photo) (submitted photo) From left, first graders Bryceden Bush, Chloe Carter, Kolbi Brown, Lena Darcey, Kristopher Dorman put their finger over their mouth after roll call to signify silence during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (Sam Gause/ The Natchez Democrat) From left, first graders Bryceden Bush, Chloe Carter, Kolbi Brown, Lena Darcey, Kristopher Dorman put their finger over their mouth after roll call to signify silence during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (Sam Gause/ The Natchez Democrat) Evan Clark, 8, gets help tying his show from mother Amy Clark before heading to his second grade classroom for the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (sam Gause/ The Natchez Democrat) Evan Clark, 8, gets help tying his show from mother Amy Clark before heading to his second grade classroom for the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (sam Gause/ The Natchez Democrat) Children walk to class during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat) Children walk to class during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat) Frazier Elementary kindergartener Tyler Hargrave reaches high to touch the screen with his light pen during the first day of school Monday. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Frazier Elementary kindergartener Tyler Hargrave reaches high to touch the screen with his light pen during the first day of school Monday. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Cathedral Preschool teacher Jessica Byrne kisses Liam Jones on the head. Jones was having hard time adjusting to the first day of school Monday. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Cathedral Preschool teacher Jessica Byrne kisses Liam Jones on the head. Jones was having hard time adjusting to the first day of school Monday. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Four-year-old Liam Jones has a hard time to adjusting to the first day of preschool at Cathedral Elementary Monday (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Four-year-old Liam Jones has a hard time to adjusting to the first day of preschool at Cathedral Elementary Monday (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Molly Shirley, 6, waits to enter her first grade classroom during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Molly Shirley, 6, waits to enter her first grade classroom during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Michelle Price holds onto Taylor Price, 9, and Cadden Price, 6, before sending them to their respective classes during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Michelle Price holds onto Taylor Price, 9, and Cadden Price, 6, before sending them to their respective classes during the first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary Monday. (sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) 081214_SchoolFirstDay7_BH Emily Merrill helps her 4-year-old son Eli with a color sheet during Eli's first day of school at Cathedral Elementary. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Emily Merrill helps her 4-year-old son Eli with a color sheet during Eli's first day of school at Cathedral Elementary. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Lee Carby, her daughter Jane and son Walker pose for a family picture in celebration of Jane's first 4-year-old preschool at Cathedral Elementary Monday (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Lee Carby, her daughter Jane and son Walker pose for a family picture in celebration of Jane's first 4-year-old preschool at Cathedral Elementary Monday (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Kindergarteners from Frazier Elementary school start learning Monday on the first day of school. (Ben Hillyer /The Natchez Democrat) Kindergarteners from Frazier Elementary school start learning Monday on the first day of school. (Ben Hillyer /The Natchez Democrat) Robert Bruce reassures his son Logan during his first day of school at Cathedral Elementary Monday (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Robert Bruce reassures his son Logan during his first day of school at Cathedral Elementary Monday (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat) Alaysia Hudnall, 5, and Alicia Hudnall walk up the walkway to Vidalia Lower Elementary for Alaysia's first day of kindergarten Monday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) Alaysia Hudnall, 5, and Alicia Hudnall walk up the walkway to Vidalia Lower Elementary for Alaysia's first day of kindergarten Monday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat) (submitted photo) (submitted photo) First grader Lynlee Kingsafer and four-year-old Molly KIngsafer get ready for the first day of school at Cathedral. (submitted photo) First grader Lynlee Kingsafer and four-year-old Molly KIngsafer get ready for the first day of school at Cathedral. (submitted photo) Hayli Etress with Mrs. Cooley at Vidalia Lower Elementary. (submitted photo) Hayli Etress with Mrs. Cooley at Vidalia Lower Elementary. (submitted photo) Third grader Grace Barr, first grader Mason Barr and second grader Madelyn Barr get ready for their first day of school in Vidalia. (submitted photo) Third grader Grace Barr, first grader Mason Barr and second grader Madelyn Barr get ready for their first day of school in Vidalia. (submitted photo) Four year old Rankin Wiggins gets ready for his first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary. Wiggins is the son of Matt and Emily Wiggins.

Four year old Rankin Wiggins gets ready for his first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary. Wiggins is the son of Matt and Emily Wiggins.

Journey Bridges' first day of school at Cathedral Elementary. (submitted photo) Journey Bridges' first day of school at Cathedral Elementary. (submitted photo) Tristen Fondren is excited to start the first day of first grade at Cathedral Elementary (submitted photo) Tristen Fondren is excited to start the first day of first grade at Cathedral Elementary (submitted photo) Fifth grader BriAnna Parker, first grader Sydney Parker and kindergartener Sydney Parker are ready for the first day of school. (submitted photo) Fifth grader BriAnna Parker, first grader Sydney Parker and kindergartener Sydney Parker are ready for the first day of school. (submitted photo) Lace and Parker Dossett are ready to start the second and first grade. (submited photo) Lace and Parker Dossett are ready to start the second and first grade. (submited photo) (submitted photo) (submitted photo) (submitted photo) (submitted photo) Seth Vinet on his first day at Vidalia High School (submitted photo) Seth Vinet on his first day at Vidalia High School (submitted photo) Marlee and Maddie Butler started their first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary. (submitted photo) Marlee and Maddie Butler started their first day of school at Vidalia Lower Elementary. (submitted photo) Senior Kayla McCready, sophomore Chloe Jernigan and senior Zach Pintard started school today at ACCS. (submitted photo) Senior Kayla McCready, sophomore Chloe Jernigan and senior Zach Pintard started school today at ACCS. (submitted photo) JaMichael Owens is a first grader at McLaurin Elementary today.

JaMichael Owens is a first grader at McLaurin Elementary today.

Roshonda Brown submitted this photo.

Roshonda Brown submitted this photo.

Lizzie Fife starts the 2nd grade at ACCS today. She is the daughter of Rick and Amanda Fife. (submitted photo) Lizzie Fife starts the 2nd grade at ACCS today. She is the daughter of Rick and Amanda Fife. (submitted photo) That all changed after just a few minutes in Emily Dawkins' classroom.

Dawkins is teaching new elective classes this year using curriculum from Project Lead The Way, which is a non-profit organization that develops lesson plans and programs specializing in science, technology, engineering and math material.

The middle school program is called Gateway to Technology and is a project-based program designed to challenge and engage students in grades six through eight.

Dawkins explained all that important information to her students Thursday morning, but all Hilbun could focus on was a presentation showing some of the projects students would get to create in the class.

The presentation showed various projects created using a 3D modeling software the Delta Charter School students would soon learn how to use.

Hilbun could barely stay in his seat.

"I always liked using computers, but I've never seen that kind of stuff you could do with them," Hilbun said. "It looks really hard, but I think I can do it." That type of excitement is exactly what DCS Director Clovis Christman was hoping for on the first day of the school's second year of operation.

"I think the kids are starting to understand and appreciate our excitement for this school and what we're doing here," Christman said. "We've held these kids to a high standard from Day One, and we're going to continue that going forward." Delta Charter opened last year at the former Huntington School campus in Ferriday for kindergarten through ninth-grade students.

The school expanded to 10th grade this year and will continue expanding in the next two years to accommodate its first senior graduating class.

Christman said curriculum initiatives such as Project Lead the Way and other rigorous learning tools used in all grades and subjects will help students apply the skills they're learning in one class to another.

"We don't want math skills to just be used in math class, so these programs are helping teach across the curriculum and across classrooms," Christman said. "It also helps when you can apply what you've learned in the classroom to actual hands-on projects to see the benefit of what you're learning." Christman said he was pleased to see a number of new and returning faces in the hallways -- especially students from the first graduating kindergarten class that started first grade Thursday.

"When those kids graduate, they will be the first students to have gone through all grade levels at Delta Charter, and that's when I know it'll be time for me to retire," Christman said, jokingly. "These students have already shown us they can do great things, and we're looking forward to continuing that this year." Across the river in Natchez, Head of School Les Hegwood said he couldn't have been more pleased with the first day at Trinity Episcopal Day School.

A level of excitement that Hegwood first saw at orientation for students and parents Wednesday night continued Thursday.

"You just didn't see people dragging their feet, thinking it was going to be the same old, same old," Hegwood said. "What you had was a group of excited and energetic students and teachers ready to celebrate the beginning of the school year." In an assembly Thursday for fifth- through 12th-grade students, Hegwood said he reassured the students of the goals for the upcoming year.

"Our mission is to prepare students for excellence in college and life -- because life is forever," Hegwood said. "Yes, you're going to be ready for wherever you go to college, but furthermore, you're going to be a kind, loving, unselfish member of society for the rest of your life." Hegwood said the key to ensuring those goals are met is to maintain a strong Episcopalian identity throughout all classes, activities and programs.

"Some of that stuff is the more boring curriculum material that you don't get to see everyday, but it's all a part of shaping the culture at Trinity," Hegwood said. "Those are the things that will be felt more long-term and will have a lasting impact on our students." ___ (c)2014 The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) Visit The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) at www.natchezdemocrat.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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