It is hard to believe that the school year is starting Monday. It really is. The summer has gone by with amazing speed and now students at county, city and private schools will be returning.
That means buses will be on the roads, children will be waiting on the side of the street for those buses and traffic in Ellisville will hit a fever level. Yes, there is not much new to a school year starting, but it certainly is worthy of a few reminders to those who have maybe forgotten.
• If you have any desire to pass a school bus, get rid of those desires immediately. In a hurry? Leave a few minutes earlier. This county knows all-to-well what can happen when a motorist passes a school bus. Nathan Key died eight years ago when he was hit by a driver passing a school bus. That death led to the creation of Nathan’s Law, which strengthened laws regarding passing school buses. Take your time and follow the guidelines. Yes, it is frustrating getting stuck behind a school bus, but if it is that important to be in a hurry, maybe find another route — or leave earlier.
• Students, get ready to hit the books early. Education is the fundamental building block of our lives. While it is sometimes tough to understand now, rely and trust on those around you who know better. Work hard, stay in class, have fun and learn. We only hope that students haven’t completely taken the summer off from learning. There is no summer break from learning.
• Teachers, be the difference. Teachers are underpaid and underappreciated, but also so important. Good teachers will be remembered forever and the lives they touch will be many. Most everyone has that one teacher who inspired and made us reach places we never thought we could reach. Students should treasure those teachers and teachers should give 200 percent to their students.
• Kick it off with some football. Yes, everyone’s favorite Mississippi pastime begins in two weeks. The Free State is poised for a breakout year for all of our teams. Get behind your school and support the other sports as well. Extras such as Friday night football games make the school year special. Cheer extra loud for the band members and cheerleaders, for they don’t get the publicity like the football players, but are oh-so-important to a school’s identity and a team’s success. Be patient with concession stand workers because it is hot in there and the lines are long and the pay is, well, for the betterment of the program. Remember those on the field are teenagers, not professionals.
Good luck to all students, teachers and athletic teams on a splendid school year. Make the most of it. Be a part of it and make this community more productive and an even more attractive place to live.