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By the time this column is published, I will no longer have a child attending Davidson Elementary School for the first time in a decade! My sixth grader will have finished his last day at DES and will surely be out roaming the wild streets of Water Valley with his group of sweaty pals; leaving bikes on the sidewalk outside of Turnages and begging various Moms for rides out to the Country Club pool (By the way, we still need a Splash Pad, people. Water Valley kids shouldn’t have to be members of a club to cool down. But, I digress…)
There are many people I’d like to thank at DES. Most notably is Brendi Sparks, who I watched, over the course of two years, instill a deep and lasting (so far!) love of learning in my child. There’s also Andrea Clement, who was the very first person I met at DES, way back in the day! I’m not from Water Valley originally and knew no one at the school when my first kid enrolled. There’s a whole slew of local folks to meet once your kid enters school, and you just don’t truly know a community until you know what’s happening at the schools.
I’ll also not forget when my child, along with many of his classmates, returned to DES in August of 2020; right smack dab in the middle of Covid. Our rural Mississippi kids were some of the first in the nation to go back. My child and his schoolmates walked into their class on that first day back and their teacher, Ms. BoBo, told them she was so happy to see them, that they were very brave to return to school and that they’ll go down in the history books.
It was the first and only time someone had said something positive to my child about having to return to school during Covid. I was, and am still, very grateful for that seemingly small acknowledgment made directly to our kids during a time when they were otherwise used as innocent pawns in a fraught year of incessant political ragings.
There are specific times where teachers and administrators have been so understanding toward me and my kids as our time at DES wasn’t always drama-free! And neither was the teachers and administrators’ times, for that matter! It’s been a wild ride for everyone. But my kid survived, made friends and learned how to read. What more could I ask for? Those three things are exactly why I sent him to school. Missions accomplished.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank a few other unsung heroes of the school year. I need to give a shout out to the frozen biscuit industry. Where would my school children be without the 15-count bags of frozen split biscuits from PigSaver? Considering that there are 180 school days and my kids ate two biscuits each morning, I calculate that it took 360 biscuits this year to get to where we are today.
Along the same lines, I’d like to thank the honey bee population for involuntarily donating what must be literal gallons of honey for said biscuits and the instant grits industry for making their product “instant.” That’s key.
And although my family leaves DES with a few mysteries still unanswered like what on Earth some of y’all are doing in the after-school carpool line two hours early everyday, I do know my boys were happy and thrived at DES. Thank you, Davidson Elementary!