School is back in session, and that means a lot more than just having to leave your house a few minutes earlier to make it to work on time.

It means that football season is upon us, as are the other late summer/fall sports of golf, cross country and volleyball; it means that parents can catch their breath after a busy two months of summer playtime; and it means that our education pages will make their annual return soon.

Most importantly, it means that we as drivers have to keep an extra eye out when passing by the schools, and the walkways that are used by students to get there.

A lot of workers – myself and most of our staff included – are making the commute to work so that we arrive somewhere between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Coming from west of town, I know I’m not the only driver passing by Watson Primary and Huntsville Intermediate schools (and the drive up the hill to the Huntsville Middle School). Remember to take extra caution in the mornings: students are often crossing the street and traffic can become congested as the buses enter and leave the campuses. Getting to work on time is important, but students arriving to school safely is more so.

Also, be aware of the speed limit change during school hours. I’m guilty of forgetting this (usually on my way home for lunch), but the decrease is there for a reason. Children are often outside playing and learning, and if a child happens to wander outside the gated area, it could be deadly. Pump the brakes and be aware of your surroundings.

It’s also illegal to use a cell phone in a school zone. We all know we shouldn’t text and drive, but this includes talking. Set the phone down until you’re clear of the zone.

As I mentioned above, the start of school also means the return of our education section. We’re celebrating the 2019-20 school year with our annual Back to School section this week (see Section C), and we hope to have more photos from the beginning of the school year in the coming weeks.

As always, we encourage our local schools – whether it be any of the Huntsville campuses, St. Paul Schools, the Kingston campus or the Elkins School District, or even our local Montessori schools – to send us photos and write-ups of the cool things you’re doing. There’s a lot of great things our students do, and we love to highlight those. Just email the photo and information to me at

Lastly, I’d like to wish all our teachers and staff at all our local districts good luck (and patience) as they enter the new school year. Teaching is by no means an easy job, and it’s often undervalued (translation: pay teachers more money). They support our local children more than we can imagine, and in turn, we should support them.

The school year brings with it a lot of new beginnings and new opportunities. Here’s to the 2019-20 year, and it hopefully being the best for all our local school districts.

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