Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a series on preparing to begin the new school year. The remaining installments will be published the next three Sunday evenings.
By Rachel Tuggle
STEPHENVILLE (July 30, 2015) – Stephenville resident LeAnn Durfey is the mother of four children: Kaylee McVey, a senior at Stephen F Austin, Klancy McVey, a teacher’s aide at Rocky Point Christian Academy, Kendall Coon, an incoming seventh grader, and Richard Durfey, who will be in the three year old pre-school class. She is an active member of the PTO board, the Stephenville Education Foundation board and the FCA leadership board. The following is an interview with Durfey, conducted by Flash Reporter Rachel Tuggle:
RACHEL: Do you have any back to school traditions with your kids?
LEANN: I try to do like school shopping alone with each one where it’s not like everyone has to get four shirts and three pairs of pants or whatever. I like to do it where I take each one separately to where they get their alone time, usually go eat lunch or something. In fact, Kaylee is coming back from college this weekend so I can take her back to school clothes shopping. Also, we always do first day of school pictures. We have to do it in the front yard by the tree every year.
RACHEL: How do you go about shopping for school supplies? Do you buy them before the first day or after?
LEANN: Usually, we get everything that’s on the list and then just pick up little odds and ends throughout if I see it on sale or something. Then, my mom is a retired teacher, and she has a huge plastic bin that’s full of school supplies. We go shopping in her school supply stash and get whatever else we have to have.
RACHEL: What is your favorite school age that you’ve had so far?
LEANN: The older girls went to kindergarten in Cleburne and it was a great experience. Kendall went to kindergarten here and had a great year, too. Just that first year- that first excitement- where everything is new and they’re excited at the thought of having homework is great. You just kind of start seeing their personality come out and I think that first year is that most important year to have a great teacher. We had great teachers that year.
RACHEL: What’s your favorite part of your kids going back to school?
LEANN: There’s that point in the summer when the kids are bickering and arguing and fighting and I’m like, “You need to go to school and see other people.”
To go back to that other question, my other favorite year for them to go to school, other than kindergarten, is their eleventh grade year.
RACHEL: Why eleventh?
LEANN: Because it’s not the end. It’s almost, it’s almost there. But, there’s just that little sweet spot of they’re not quite to the “I’m ready to get out of your house and run back to school,” but they’re not a little kid either. I like that year. They’re in their groove of high school so they’re not the scared freshman- and sometime sophomore. They’re in the band or on the drill team or cheerleader or whatever it is they’re involved in, and they’re already involved in it. They’re in their groove. That was a fun year.