It was a welcome like only a tight-knit small town can do.
On Tuesday, August 10, a long queue of cars slowly dropped off their precious cargo at Wewahitchka Elementary School, as students scampered back to school, some carrying a backpack full of supplies, all looking fresh and excited for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
Teacher Melanie Hinote has retired and there are four new faces at Wewa Elementary, second grade teacher Chelsey Ardire, fifth grade teacher Teresa Dietz, sixth grade math teacher Emily Lavergne, and school nurse Robbin Peavy. Familiar faces who have rejoined the staff are fourth grade teacher Susan Bellonis, reading specialist Debbie Gerber, and sixth grade English and language arts teacher Anita Askew.
At the high school, the students each wore their color-coded school shirts, proudly showing off their class identity.
At a school-wide assembly in the gleaming gymnasium, Principal Jay Bidwell offered a welcome, followed by each of the teachers and staff, two by two, filing into the gym to be introduced by name to the entire student body.
After that it was time for some good-natured cheering, and the start of the new school year was underway.