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Editorial: Enjoy the school year

  • Lori Gantt/Special to Jasper County Sun Times Thomas Heyward Academy’s school year has begun! The students celebrated the return of the school year last week as Lily Gantt was welcomed by the varsity cheerleaders.

School is back and we are excited for what we hope will be a successful year.

Most of the county’s schools are in full swing this week and we wish all the best to the Jasper County School District, Thomas Heyward Academy, Royal Live Oaks Academy, Legacy Christian Academy, Step of Faith Christian Academy and John Paul II Catholic School.

We welcome some new faces — and familiar ones with new positions — including: the school district’s John Tutterton (Chief Human Resources Officer), Seneca Baines (Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School principal), Marlyn Westbrook (RHHS assistant principal) and Travis Griffin (assistant principal at Ridgeland Elementary School); Thomas Heyward’s Roy Pryor (Director of Marketing and Development), Al Boni (upper school science teacher), and Molly Binder (middle school English teacher);

Legacy Christian’s Donna Rowell (seventh- to 12th-grade music teacher), Jennifer Collins (third grade teacher), Calvin Smith (high school Bible, history teacher) and Valerie Mingledorff (high school English teacher); and Step of Faith’s Rhonda Stones (high school English), Denis Juarez (high school Spanish), Neighley Simmons (K3 teacher) and Ron Jones (fourth grade teacher).

We wish them the best of luck.

The start of the school year also signals the start of the football season and we look forward to the renewal of the Ridgeland-Hardeeville High rivalry matchup against Thomas Heyward Academy.

Last season was the first time the schools had ever competed against each other in a varsity football game and on Friday night, the Jaguars will make the 1.5 mile trek to Malphrus Road and visit the Rebels.

The game kicks off the season, but it also brings the county together. Last year’s contest — the first in 46 years between the public and private schools — at Jaguar Stadium in Ridgeland brought together more than 900 people.

SCHSL Class AAA Ridgeland-Hardeeville High won the game over SCISA Class A Thomas Heyward, but a large contingent of Rebels supporters filled the stands and lined the fence behind the Rebels’ sideline and the Jaguars’ fan base packed the stands on the home side and squished together along the fence.

After the game was called in the third quarter because of the threat of inclement weather, the players shook hands and hugs were exchanged.

“Both of our kids have mutual respect for each other,” RHHS coach Jahmaal Nelson said that night.

We expect the same camaraderie this season.

It should be a fun atmosphere at Thomas Heyward Academy and a great way to get the season going.

Enjoy the school year!

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