HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It's time once again for many students all across the coast to hit the books. Class officially started for the Bay-Waveland School District on Thursday.
For many, starting school back up means a lot more than just another year of education. There are friends, relationships, and the daunting prospect of what lies in the future. As a senior and the student body president at Bay High, Jodie Bartlett sees this day as a milestone.
"This is it," Jodie said. "This is the last time we're together. So, it is what you make it."
Principal Amy Coyne shares Jodie's sentiment. She believes her students have special bonds with one another.
"They love life. They love each other. We love them. They love us. It truly makes this next 180 days fly by in a good way," said Coyne.
According to Coyne, this family mentality starts long before high school. Jeremy Weir, Principal of North Bay Elementary, makes sure to keep the school's family feel while kicking it up a notch.
"I'm a former high school football coach. One of the things we do as coaches is get our kids pumped up. We apply that coaching philosophy to academics," said Weir.
The kids definitely got pumped up in the day's beginning assembly. Weir cranked up the music and got the day started with pep rally-like excitement.
Some of the students express that excitement in different ways, like third grader Bralen Rayborn.
"I'm a big fan of dancing," said Bralen after tearing up the dance floor with moves that would make Michael Jackson jealous.
Bralen wasn't the only one with a dancing bug at the school. The teachers at North Bay weren't afraid to cut it up. In the process, these teachers were hoping to get the students excited for the year.
Weir doesn't just bring this energy on the first day. He said he tries to keep it going all the way through the end of the school year.
"We want to make them want to come to school. If they want to come to school, that's half the battle," Weir said.
In many ways, it looks like a battle that the district can consider won.