The halls of the Cameron High/Middle School Complex buzzed with excitement Thursday as hundreds of students filed in for the first day of school, held earlier than most due to Cameron's modified calendar.
Marshall County Schools Superintendent Michael Hince, Principal Jack Cain and other administrators and teachers greeted students as they made their way to the cafeteria to meet with friends before heading off to their first class of the 2013-14 school year.
Hince said although it is exciting to have the new high/middle building for the new year, he stressed it is time to focus attention away from the building and concentrate on academics.
Students file down the main staircase at Cameron High School for their first class of the year.
Glen Dale native Daryn Vucelick, a finalist earlier this year to be West Virginia University's 2013-14 mascot, greets students Gage Lilley, left, and Kenzie Clutter.
Students find their classrooms in the middle/high complex.
"It's an impressive building and it's our hope that it's going to be an impressive academic year, too," Hince said. "It's a great building, but we're moving beyond that. We're thinking in terms of academics now - what we can do to provide the best things for our children."
Cameron Elementary School also welcomed students in first through fifth grades back Thursday with high-fives and hugs from teachers waving pom-poms and singing fight songs from West Virginia University as students entered the school. WVU's Mountaineer mascot, Daryn Vucelick, also was on hand to greet classes and promote the new school year theme "Celebrate West Virginia." The students also enjoyed an assembly where Vucelik talked to students about setting goals and having a good year.
"The students were very excited and came off the bus smiling," Principal Wendy Clutter said. "We have several new teachers this year, so that's exciting, and we're working on getting our new curriculum changes."
This is the third year Cameron High/Middle School, along with Cameron Elementary, will operate on a modified calendar separate from other schools in the district. As part of a state Innovation Zone Grant, the schools have been operating on a calendar that places longer breaks throughout the year and reduces the length of the summer break.