SORRENTO — When the 2010-11 school year ended, about 830 students called themselves St. Amant Primary Wildcats. Roughly half of those will start the 2011-12 school year as Sorrento Primary Mudbugs.
“We’re the Mighty Mudbugs, actually,” said a smiling Robin Anderson, who was tapped to lead the new school as principal.
It’s fitting, she said, as the school is built on the site of what was once a crawfish pond.
“We’re so excited,” Anderson said, pointing out bulletin boards decorated with crawfish chimneys made of brown paper, and a small wooden boat attached to a miniature wooden pier that will serve as reading areas in the school’s new library. The school is filled with these random touches of school pride for a school that has yet to hold its first class.
The parting was bittersweet for many teachers of students at St. Amant Primary, Anderson said, but excitement has been building steadily since she began her job in January — before the new school was ready to be occupied.
“My first office as principal was at St. Amant Primary,” Anderson laughed. That, too, was something of a homecoming for her. Though she worked as assistant principal at Donaldsonville Primary when she was appointed principal at Sorrento, she’d taught at St. Amant Primary before that.
Spending the first few months of her principalship on the campus of St. Amant Primary allowed her time to get to know the students coming to her new school and some of the teachers who will be teaching there, she said.
So far, Anderson has 420 Mighty Mudbugs registered for classes Aug. 10, drawn from Sorrento, and the Darrow and Burnside communities.
“And the community has already gotten involved,” Anderson said, pointing out that a community-driven school supplies drive in Darrow will benefit her students.
In May, Anderson got the OK to take over her brand new office. “For a while there it was just me and my facilities manager in the building,” she said.
But on Friday, there was a steady stream of teachers putting finishing touches on their classroom decorations.
Deneé Babin chose a pirate theme for her kindergarten class, and, during a recent visit, pointed out her bulletin board, which welcomes students to “kindergARRRten,” and was in the process of inflating a pool toy shaped like — what else? — a crawfish.
“This will make a good reading area,” she said, tossing the float near the wooden deck of her in-class pirate cove, complete with treasure chest filled with toys, an inflatable parrot and an arm hook.
“We’re going to have a good year,” Babin said.
The new school is being celebrated district-wide. The School Board moved its Aug. 2 meeting to Sorrento Primary, to be held in conjunction with the school’s open house and a ribbon cutting marking the official opening of the school.