Enrollment, expectations up for new school year

Franklin County Schools Principal Eric Bidwell is new this year. Photo available for purchase

Franklin County Schools Principal Eric Bidwell is new this year.

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 02:10 PM.


The start of school is pretty much the same every year, except when it’s different.

Monday’s opening of the 2013-14 school year went as well as it always does, the same energy of the children, duty of parents, excitement of faculty.

The smiles this year seemed more prevalent, though, and the sense that change is in the air more pervasive.

Eric Bidwell began his first full year as principal, with Kris Bray as his second, and Eddie Joseph and Al London his lieutenants.

“It was fantastic,” Bidwell said, reviewing Monday’s results with Bray and Athletic Director Mike Sweatt, three key members of the school’s leadership.

He said numbers were at 932, up by 47 from the 885 students who finished last year. Apalachicola Bay Charter School Chimene Johnson also saw an increase at the charter school, up by 40 new students to an enrollment of 350 in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade.

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