GRANT COUNTY - Some area students hit the books this week while others are still relishing their last few days of summer before starting school Sept. 2.
Brittnee Lippert of John Day says she's a little nervous about starting ninth grade at Grant Union High School because most of the students are older, and she won't know many of them; on the other hand she's happy to get started and be one step closer to college, she said.
She and her sister Jaylee, a seventh-grader at Mt. Vernon Middle School, recently went shopping in Bend with their mom and Jaylee's friend Sarah Wright. The girls bought all the necessities, mainly cute school clothes.
"A babydoll Hollister shirt that's navy blue with star shapes on it," she said.
After a week at the fair, Jaylee says she's ready to relax.
"I'm just going to kind of be lazy and have fun," she said. Brittnee said they will probably go camping this weekend.
Lane Woodcock of John Day is also planning on a camping trip on the John Day River near Kimberly with his family this week.
"Normally we have as much fun as we can before school starts," said the seventh-grader.
Shyanne Carpenter will be one of the new faces at Mt. Vernon Middle School. The seventh-grader transferred from Desert Hills Middle School in Kennewick, Wash.
"I'm excited and nervous to start a new school," she said.
She recently returned from a school shopping trip in Portland. She said her favorite store was Gen-X where she bought a pair of Vans shoes.
As students head back to the rigors of education, they can plan on seeing some new teachers.
At Grant Union High School the new teachers include Kris Kizer (agriculture), Jason Miller, (PE, weights and boys basketball), Samantha Gerry (health) and Rhonda Jenison, (special ed teacher, part-time).
Registration at GUHS is Wednesday, Aug. 27. Seniors will check in from 8:30-10 a.m.; juniors, 10-11:30 a.m.; sophomores, 12-1:30 p.m.; and freshmen 1:30-3 p.m.
Classes at GUHS and other schools in Grant School District #3 start on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
New instructors at Mt. Vernon Middle School are Doug Sharp, teaching PE, and Ann Beal, the new special ed teacher.
Humbolt Elementary School lost retirees Ken Purnell, Joan Hopper, Marva Dawley, Sherry Feiger and Judy Grubbs last school year. But they gain new staff including fifth-grade teacher Nate Young, Samantha Gerry the new PE teacher and special ed teachers Robyn Miller and Rhonda Jenison. Jenison previously worked as a teacher's assistant at Humbolt.
Humbolt was starting the school year with 260 students, about the same as last year's enrollment.
Two kindergarten classes - a total of 42 students - will be taught by Sophie Cosgrove and Shermayne Boethin. Kindergarten students and their parents will meet in the cafeteria for an open house set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26.
Enrollment numbers at some area schools were unavailable at press time.
Holly Davis will teach PE this year at Seneca School, where enrollment stands at about 59. The school will hold a back-to-school barbecue at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.
Blue Mountain Alternative School holds registration Thursday Aug. 28 and school begins Sept. 2.
Monument School also begins Sept. 2 with an expected enrollment of 55. New teachers Rachel Marble (science) and Trisha Glover (kindergarten) are on board this year.
Prairie City School started classes Monday, Aug. 25, and enrollment is up slightly from last year. The district has 152 kindergarten through 12th-grade students.
New teachers at Prairie City are Gerry Iken (history), Bob Park (math) and Louanne Zweygardt (math).
Dayville School also started Monday, and the school is seeking a new fifth- through sixth-grade teacher.
Long Creek School students also started on Monday. The school has enrolled 49 in preschool through 12th grade. There is one new teacher, Gene Russell.
Long Creek School officials were pleased to announce that they will be teaming up with Monument/Dayville for football this year.