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Private schools ready to start year

Like their public counterparts, staff at Lawrence County’s two private school systems are nearing the start of a new school year.

Sugar Creek Christian Academy students will begin classes Friday. This year, seventh grade will be offered. Last year, its first year of operation, the new Christian institution offered K-6.

“Every year we’re going to add a grade,” board member Phillip Carpenter said. “We started out last year with K-5 and some kids wanted to come and they were in the sixth grade so we ended up K-6 and now those kids will be in seventh grade.”

The Rev. Mike Long, who is the school’s principal, said 35 students are enrolled for the 2006-2007 school year.

Three new faces will greet those students: retired Dawson Bryant educator Bill Stapleton will teach seventh grade, Sherry Pack will teach Kindergarten and Theresa Brooks will teach first grade.

Long said he is thankful for the support the community has shown for Christian education — support that is not only spiritual but financial.

“We really want to thank the people who have given money for scholarships,” Long said. “We got right around $35,000 from people and from businesses in the community who wanted to help and some kids might not have been able to come if not for these scholarships.

“These are not rich kids. I know people have that misconception with private education but are kids are from average homes but their parents have made this a priority.”

Students in the Ironton Catholic Schools will return to class Thursday. Jim Mains, principal at St. Lawrence High School and St. Lawrence Elementary said 90 kids are enrolled at each building.

Parents are making improvements to the playground at St. Lawrence and there are plans to purchase new swing sets. Mains also said school officials are in the process of hiring one or two new teachers for the new school year.