Bogalusa schools welcome students back

Published 10:47 am Friday, August 8, 2014

Thursday was the first day of school for students in the Bogalusa Public School System and at Annunciation Catholic School.

Bogalusa High School Principal Lesley McKinley said he expected the student population to be about the same as last school year.

“We anticipate about 900 student in grades 6-12,” McKinley said Thursday morning in the auditorium as classroom assignments were being called out by teacher Jennifer Beninato. “The 900 is holding steady to what we had last year.”

Students also received motivation in a talk from 2012 Bogalusa High School honor graduates Myleeza Mingo and Joiya Smith. Mingo is a junior at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, while Smith will be a junior at Grambling State University.

McKinley is in his third year as principal.

Byrd Avenue Primary School Principal Sheila Lawrence expected attendance to be up this year. Byrd Avenue is K-2 after adding second grade this year. Lawrence is entering her second year as school principal and has nine years experience overall as principal in Bogalusa schools.

“So far, so great,” Lawrence said before the 8 a.m. bell sounded. “We’re supposed to be over 400 students this year. It’s going better than I thought.”

It was a steady stream of parents dropping off their children Thursday. The students were met by a host of teachers, including Randi Mercier and Deborah Pigott.

Annunciation Catholic School teacher’s aide Terry Keen said approximately 147 students reported Thursday for the first day of school. Annunciation Catholic School has classes for student in pre-K3 through eighth grade. This is the final school year for Annunciation to have eighth grade.