Okolona School Clean Up

OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) – The town of Okolona came together today to get a nearly one hundred year old school building ready for the new year.

Some volunteers painted others did landscaping and still others collected a great amount of debris resulting from the ongoing remodeling. Fortunately, the children will be cooler this year as a new central air system is going in.

First year principal, Willie Mounce, says they wanted to have a community wide event.

“I really felt there was a need to do this. A lot of things needed disposed of in here. A lot of things have not been used in a few years just like at any other school. Several parents have approached me about what they could do to help out. Just getting everything cleaned up, so I just thought this would be a good day to get everybody together,” said Mounce.

One of the volunteers was Okolona school board chairman William Bailey who installed new toilet seats in the boys bathrooms.

“I’m really real excited to see the turnout that is here this morning. We have parents of all walks of life. They’re here to make sure that our school is in tip top shape when our kids come back in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to it and just got my gloves on and ready to go,” said Bailey.

Someone else who is ready to go is 4th grade math teacher, Martisa Francois, who will be using this classroom complete with this high tech touch screen board which has replaced the old chalk board.

Like Mounce, this is her first year at Okolona.

“I think the most important thing to remember when you’re working with someone new is there’s always going to be change and so well change can be a good thing. You can also get some resistance to change but I’m looking forward to change so I’m very excited just this today like has opened my eyes to see there’s so much this community has to offer and everybody’s excited about the students,” said Francois.

This event would not have been possible without volunteers from the community.

“Everybody talks about the school but nobody comes out and helps and supports the school. You need support for the school’s safety and for them to come and learn and get a good education and safe environment,” said Southern Sisters Rosie Hayden .

“It’s very important today for us to come out and help our youth get their education because they don’t need to be in an environment where it’s bad hazardous to them you know they need to get their learning and teaching that they need in a good way where they don’t have to worry about unsanitized places,” said Okolona teacher Martisa Francois.

It hasn’t been that many years ago that the Okolona School System was failing and had to be taken over by the state. But those days behind it, and Principal Mounce is coming together to make this school year the best ever in Okolona.

“We’re starting a clean slate. We’re forgetting about what’s happened in the past. My plan is for this to be the Oklolona that it used to be. I’ve talked to several older residents and Okolona used to be the place to be in school. And I really feel we’re up and coming and we’ve got a lot positive things going on,” said Mounce.

Classes in Okolona begin August 8th.

Categories: Local News

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