CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – Camden County students and faculty headed back to school Friday.
Over the summer, the school district made a number of changes that parents and students will notice, including everything from renovations to security to the addition of new teachers.
The district said school safety is the first priority.
Aubrey Faith, 6, is among the more than 9,000 students headed back Friday. She was looking forward to returning to Mamie Lou Gross Elementary School in Woodbine. Her mother, Christy Dixon, was looking forward to it, as well.
"It's exciting. It is. You know, they get nervous, anxious. But I've been there before, so I know how they feel. They're excited,” Dixon said.
New school years bring about many new things. According to the district, Mary Lee Clark Elementary and Camden Middle School both underwent major renovations over the summer. Security improvements, which include a new access system, were made at all schools. New security doors were also installed in every Camden County school.
This year, the district also welcomed a brand new class of 55 teachers. While that may seem like a pretty standard number for some counties, it’s significant for Camden County.
Blake Jenkins has taught kindergarten for the last 10 years. She begins her first day of teaching in the Peach State on Friday and said she’s determined to make her incoming students feel at ease.
"They should look forward to coming in here, knowing that we're going to do something fun. And they shouldn't even know that they're learning. They're just having a really good time,” Jenkins said.
Sykora Cobb is also beginning her first year as a principal.
“I'm a little nervous, but the teachers got here on Monday and made me feel welcome,” Cobb said.
The district also told News4Jax that the current superintendent is retiring, and a new one will take over in January.