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School begins in Spotsylvania; Post Oak Middle School opens
School begins in Spotsylvania; Post Oak Middle School opens

 Post Oak Middle School Principal Chester Mummau points a student in the right direction during the school's opening day.
DAVE ELLIS/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 8/24/2006

By MELISSA NIX

By MELISSA NIX

MULTIMEDIA: View a multimedia presentation on the opening day at Post Oak Middle School

The morning mist had barely lifted when the first school buses came rolling into Post Oak Middle School's freshly minted back lot.

It was 7:30 a.m. Hundreds of kids descended from a seemingly nonstop convoy of buses. They wore a variety of expressions--sleepy, sullen, anxious, excited.

Some stopped to ask Principal Chester Mummau, who was greeting them, for directions.

"I didn't come to orientation, so I don't know where to go," sighed one mop-topped seventh-grader. Mummau quickly put him on the right track to his assigned homeroom.

Students in Spotsylvania, Orange and Culpeper counties went back to school yesterday.

Post Oak, Spotsylvania County's newest middle school, opened its doors to 839 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

It pulled students from Spotsylvania and Freedom middle schools as well as John J. Wright, which is to be re-purposed as a community center and alternative school.

"It's a great day for southern Spotsylvania County," said Mummau, adding that "the energy from middle-schoolers keeps me young."

Inside, lockers were slamming and the hallways were abuzz with chatter. Some of the students looked like they still belonged in elementary school, while others sported baby-fuzz mustaches. Teachers stood outside their classrooms like sentinels, ushering kids into them. Homeroom was about to begin.

Stephanie Smiley, who teaches seventh-grade English, is brand-new to the classroom.

"Everyone's new at the school," she said, "so I feel at ease."

Next door, veteran teacher Donna Adams' room was decorated with civics and social studies posters. A string of presidential portraits hung above her whiteboard.

Seventh-grader Matt Simms, 12, was seated under a picture of the Statue of Liberty. He wore a T-shirt that read "5 out of 4 people have trouble with fractions."

"I wish I was still at home, riding my dirt bike," Matt said.

"Exactly!" echoed his friend.

"I'm excited 'cause its a new school, but I'm nervous I'll get lost," offered fellow classmate Katie Spillman, also 12.


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