Summer vacation is over for the teachers in the newly merged Shelby County School Schools system. They're back at work this week getting ready for the first day of class on Monday, Aug. 5.
Teachers at Cordova High School said they are ready to go and excited to get the new year started. Administrators say the teachers are the backbone of the schools.
Lisa Crosthwait, a veteran Spanish language teacher, was getting her classroom ready on Wednesday in between faculty meetings. She said it's about more than the textbook. she shares culture with her students.
"I just think there's a new sense of energy and a new sense of commitment that we all feel, so that might be the big difference," Crosthwait said.
With Monday the first day of school for the new unified SCS, 1,850 students will fill the hallways at Cordova High School, the principal here says they shouldn't notice any differences in the classroom.
"Nothing's changed here," said Felicia Everson, principal. "It's going to be just like it's always been. Students come to school at 7 a.m., they go to classes seven periods a day and we provide them all they need to be leaders for tomorrow."
The community is watching to see what happens when the new school system opens its doors, and the district's teachers will be on the front lines.
"Everyday is something new and everyday I'm surprised by the intelligence and the creativity of the kids here," said Spanish teacher Brooke Shannon, who is looking forward to Aug. 5.
Senorita Shannon, as her students call her, is a fairly new teacher. This will be her second year at Cordova High. She's focused on getting ready to teach her first class.
"From my perspective, I mean, the kids are the same so we're going to do the same thing," she said. "Yes, it's not much of a difference for me."
Just down the hall Crosthwait is decorating the bulletin boards in her classroom. This will be her 24th year teaching in Memphis and she doesn't think this year will be much different.
"There will certainly be some things we need to iron out and there might be some fine details that have to be resolved at some point by teachers and obviously other people as well," Crosthwait said. "But I think we're all looking forward to a smooth transition, a smooth consolidation, and school year.
"I'm just as excited in fact, more excited as I always am and certainly a little bit more excited to consider all the possibilities."
Cordova High School has a unique history. It was built in 1997 and it was part of Shelby County Schools until 2005 when it transitioned to become a Memphis City School. Everson said her staff has been through a transition before and they can easily do it again when the students arrive on Monday.
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