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Newton schools celebrate first day of class
Carter Harris
From left, second-grader Carter Harris and mom, Kayla Harris, enter Newton County Theme School on the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 2. - photo by Tom Spigolon

LaMoyne Brunson was getting a little hot under the collar.

The new principal of Newton County Theme School was welcoming many of his school’s younger students personally today, Aug. 2, on the school’s front steps as they streamed in on foot, by bus and in their parents’ vehicles.

The humidity was making the morning temperatures seem higher than they were.

“Overall it’s been a great morning. The humidity could be better,” he said, laughing.

“I’ve been real pleased. Everything seems real organized.”

The arriving students were among more than 19,000 attending the first day of class for the 2021-22 academic year in the Newton County system’s 24 schools today. 

Many students spent much of the 2020-21 year learning virtually because of the pandemic. 

Students at the Theme School today wore masks in accordance with the school district’s plan for the face coverings being “highly recommended” but not required for students or staff. 

School system officials have said the plan could change depending on community transmission of COVID-19.Brunson was celebrating his first day as principal of the 1,000-student school after serving as principal of Fairview Elementary School. He replaced Ashante Everett, who was recently named Newton County School System’s director of Student Services. 

Brunson said many first-grade students were joining kindergarteners for their first days of class in-person at Newton County Theme School after spending their first year learning virtually.

Most kindergarten students seemed prepared for their first days. Few tears were seen on the eyes of students or parents.