Popp’s Ferry Elementary celebrates the new school year


As the clock ticks down, excitement is on the rise for Popp’s Ferry Elementary students, their parents, and teachers as we head into the upcoming school year.

The new school year will certainly see some changes, but that isn’t stopping Popp’s Ferry Elementary School from celebrating the upcoming school year as evidenced by Monday’s drive-thru meet and greet for the school’s incoming first and second graders.

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Selina Coakley was one of the teachers on hand to meet students and their parents as they rolled through. “We are so excited. We have missed these kids so much. We are just enjoying seeing their faces as they drive through. They’re so excited. They’re waving. They’re happy. We’re excited. They’re coming through, and they’re so excited to meet their teachers.”

Averie Davis dressed up for the occasion. Her mother, Christina, has done her homework too, preparing her first-grader for the upcoming school year. “She’s super excited to start school, and super excited they did this drive-thru. It’s very nice. We have a whole school set up at home. We have a desk. We’ve got the white board. We’re good to go.”

There will be some changes due to COVID-19 this year, but that’s just one of the reasons they’re holding this meet and greet. “Everybody, you can see, coming through, is wearing masks. We’re required to wear masks. We will have new cleaning techniques.  We’re going to be absolutely sanitizing everything. When they come into my classroom, they don’t have to share materials with anybody. I will clean everything personally, in between classes, to make sure everything is taken care of and all of our children are safe.”

Although there will be some changes inside and beyond the classroom, the focus remains the same: teaching and equipping these future leaders with what they may face in years to come.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!


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