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Nevils Elementary students and alumni say goodbye to school

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When the students walk out the front doors of Nevils Elementary on May 25, they will not only be saying goodbye to their teachers and principal but to a building as well.
    The current Nevils Elementary School will be demolished in light of the new school that will open its doors for the 2007-2008 school year.
    The school has existed since 1924 and has educated thousands. Older students of Nevils have watched their children, and some, their grandchildren make their way through the halls. Some who were students there have returned to serve as teachers and in other roles.
    Due to its impact and meaning in the community, school faculty members elected to organize an event that would allow previous students an opportunity to wander the halls, visit with their former classmates and share memories of their days at the small school.
    Nevils teachers Jenny McCorkle and Kathy Anderson formed a committee and with the help of volunteers planned the Nevils School Alumni Day.
    Principal Shawn Haralson intends to open the doors of the new school for the curious as well.
    “Visitors will be able to walk the halls of the new school,” Haralson said.
    Everyone is invited to attend, but Anderson says they are hoping to attract one group in particular.
    “We are targeting people who attended the high school.”
    Parts of the Nevils school history are uncertain and the organizers are hoping that attendees will shed some light on the school’s past.
    “We are looking for photos” and any other information that alumni can provide, Anderson said.
    Interview sheets will be available for previous students to complete and any images brought to the event will be scanned and saved. From the information they gather, the committee hopes to compile a more complete history of the school for future generations.
    The doors of the school will open to the public Saturday at 10 a.m.  Most of the activities will center in the gymnasium. Tables and chairs will be provided for those who wish to sit and reminisce. Locals will provide music throughout the day. Food will be available in the lunchroom; T-shirts and other Nevils souvenirs will be available in a gift shop.

One more goodbye
    Not only will Nevils Elementary students say goodbye to their school, they will say goodbye to principal Shawn Haralson also.
    “I know, it seems silly to leave with the new school opening.”
    Haralson will serve as principal at Julia P. Bryant Elementary School after the end of the school year.
    “I will miss it [Nevils] terribly — the school, the students and the community,” Haralson said.
    As for the new school, Haralson feels it will exceed expectations.
    “We increased capacity from 377 students to 525,” he said. “As far as technology, it will be the best in the county. There will be 26 classrooms. The rooms will be equipped with LCD projectors and smart boards.”
    Charlene Robbins, the school office’s administrative assistant, says the school will miss him, too.
    “He’s done a great job,” Robbins said.
    Julie Blackmar will assume the head position at Nevils Elementary.
    For more information about Alumni Day, call Nevils Elementary at (912) 839-3405.
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