By sleigh, to South Point (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:05 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

School gets special visit in lead-up to holiday

First grader Jazmyn Moore meets with Santa Claus during a visit at the school on Thursday. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

SOUTH POINT — “There are just nine days to go!” the special visitor to South Point Elementary School told the gathered children, flashing his fingers, when he stopped by the school on Thursday (Seven days, by the day you read this).

An enthusiastic crowd gathered in the school’s cafeteria for the arrival of the man of the season, Santa Claus.

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One by one, the children went up to the stage, for the chance to tell him what they wanted this year for Christmas, and answers ranged from new bikes to Rainbow High dolls to video games.

Afterward, each child had their photo taken with him by their teacher. 

St. Nick met with the school’s kindergarten through second grade classes, giving each child a candy cane, as they left the stage.

Santa, when he isn’t at the North Pole, maintains a part-time secret identity in Lawrence County as Jim Kearns, of Ironton. Well-known in the community for his distinctive beard, which looks like it came straight from a Norman Rockwell illustration, he told the children about his life around the holidays.

He said he has friends all over the world, who let him stay with them when he isn’t delivering presents.

“He looks like the real guy,” one of the children said of him after leaving the stage.

Thursday’s visit is one of the last events for the school, as they prepare for Christmas break next week.

“We’ll dismiss after a half day on Tuesday,” principal Chris Mathes said. “We’re just counting down the days now.”