The start of school today completes the end of an of an era, or beginning of a new one, depending upon perspective.
Starting today there is not a single student on any of the Booneville School District campuses who ever attended A.R. Hederick Elementary School.
That is assuming no kindergartners failed -- and are still here -- during the 2006-2007 school year when the new Booneville Elementary School opened its doors.
Those first kindergartners are now seniors and are, obviously, the first class to complete K-6 in Booneville Elementary School, grades 7-9 in Booneville Junior High and, again assuming they make it to graduation day in May, 10-12 in Booneville High School.
Amy Goers, the new principal over BHS, noted her first senior class being the first to do make the aforementioned trek in a recent interview with the Democrat.
With her son, Grant, a member of that class then, and again now, it is rather unique, even worthy of attention.
While there may no longer be students in the school district with a connection to A.R. Hederick, there are at least 17 teachers who were with the district who “moved their stuff across” to the new building, many recalled during a back-to-school lunch for staff Thursday.
Included in those moving items was Kinsey Cobb, who was then completing her sixth grade year at A.R. Hederick while her mother was a school employee.
Consequently, Cobb, now Kinsey Pennington, never attended Booneville Elementary School as a student but she is at the school now as a third grade teacher. She starts her second year of teaching today.
Of course the other side of the equation is that the recently departed Class of 2018 was the last who were forced to, or had the opportunity to, again depending upon perspective, attend school under the Hederick name.
During construction of the school now in its 13th year of use, there were multiple discussions about retention of, or doing away with the Hederick name.
In its November 2005 meeting, the Booneville School Board decided to drop the Hederick name for the sake of consistency. The decision needed to made for cast signage to be ordered for the new school.
Then-superintendent Bobby Ashley offered no opinion on the matter. His predecessor when construction of the school began, Verna Jean Cunningham, had favored the idea of dropping the Hederick name.
A month before the decison one board member said he had attended the school and did not realize the significance of the name even then. Another board member, who had not attended the school, floated an idea of naming the K-3 portion — the school’s were viewed as separate entities at the outset — but got little or no support.
Nobody attended a school board meeting to oppose the idea and the name change was approved without discussion.