Students have a few weeks of summer vacation left, but school already was in session for Columbia County teachers last week.
The school system held a three-day orientation program for its new teachers, which opened at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Wednesday.
Superintendent Charles Nagle said the school system filled 225 certified positions for the coming year.
"Seventy are first-year teachers, and a lot of them came through our school system," he said.
Jennifer Moseley, a Greenbrier High School graduate who will teach sixth-grade language arts and social studies at Riverside Middle School this year, is one of those teachers.
"This is my home. I graduated from here. I love it," she said. "I wanted to come back and give back what I got out of it to begin with."
She said she looks forward to getting to know her pupils and "seeing them learn and also learning through them."
Her colleague, Janice Knox, who taught at Augusta Christian Schools for three years, will teach special education at Riverside Middle.
"I'm a middle-career changer," said Knox, who formerly sold real estate. "I switched because I would be able, one, to teach, and two, having a child, I wanted to have her with me and be on her schedule.
"I've always wanted to teach in Columbia County," she said. "The school system is so good. I felt like I could make a difference in public education. I know there's a demand for special education."
Marlo Leatherwood is another experienced teacher who will teach in Columbia County for the first time.
Leatherwood, who moved here when she married in May, taught in Gwinnett County for 11 years. She will teach sixth-grade math at Evans Middle School.
"I'm just looking forward to the change. I used to be a special ed teacher, and this will be my first year in regular ed," she said.
Christopher Cato, will teach American government at Harlem High School.
"I'm from Columbia County. I'm coming back home," the Lakeside High School graduate said.
Cato previously taught in Jefferson County.
Columbia County's school system added 69.5 certified positions this year, which includes spots at Grovetown's new Cedar Ridge Elementary School.
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