S.C. Lee Junior High School held its annual Meet the Teacher night Tuesday in advance of the start of school Monday

The parking lot overflowed with cars as parents and students streamed in and out of the school doors. In the entryway, Principal Kayleen Love and other administrators divided up sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and guided them to their proper classrooms.

“We’ve had a fantastic turnout,” said Jo Warren, seventh-grade math teacher. “At 5 p.m., we had parents lined up outside the doors.”

This year is Warren’s 24th year as a teacher, but that doesn’t make the job any less exciting.

“I’ve now taught the children of former students,” he said. “When I see kids grow up, and think that I might’ve been a small part of their success … that’s the best reward.”

Meet the Teacher night helps students get over their first-day jitters, especially sixth-graders, Love said. Many incoming sixth-grade students toured S.C. Lee last spring, but for most, Meet the Teacher night was the first time they dealt with opening lockers and reading schedules.

Laswello Ogletree, whose family recently moved to Copperas Cove from Alabama, was helping her son prepare for one of the biggest challenges of transitioning from elementary school to junior high — more classes and more teachers.

“The school has a good system. Tonight, my son was able to practice (opening) his locker and get familiar,” Ogletree said.

Seventh-grade language arts teacher Alina Wilder emphasized the benefits of Meet the Teacher.

“It’s important to see the students and put a face to a name,” she said. “It’s more personal. We’ve had a good turnout from the parents. They want to be involved.”

After becoming acquainted with their new teachers and classrooms, students continued to explore. Many visited the library and met librarian Sandra Carswell.

Parents received information from the Parent-Teacher Association and Copperas Cove Education Foundation. The counseling office was open to students with scheduling issues.

“Deja was excited to get her locker open,” Tanya Dwyer said. Her daughter is entering the seventh grade. Although it is Deja’s second year at S.C. Lee, Meet the Teacher night was still useful. Coming to the school early helps ensure her child is comfortable in the environment and knows where to go, Dwyer said.

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