It was the first day back at Prince of Peace schools Wednesday as fall classes began. Bethany Fewell of North Vernon, Pope John Elementary’s principal, and Curt Gardner of Madison, Shawe Memorial’s principal, started their busy day Wednesday running back and forth between busing students to school, preparing for morning announcements and classroom visits. (Courier staff photos by Trenton Scroggins)
It was the first day back at Prince of Peace schools Wednesday as fall classes began. Bethany Fewell of North Vernon, Pope John Elementary’s principal, and Curt Gardner of Madison, Shawe Memorial’s principal, started their busy day Wednesday running back and forth between busing students to school, preparing for morning announcements and classroom visits. (Courier staff photos by Trenton Scroggins)

Prince of Peace Catholic Schools were the first in Jefferson County to start the new school year, with new principals, more students, and a desire to increase student safety. Bethany Fewell of North Vernon (top photo), Pope John Elementary’s principal, and Curt Gardner (bottom photo) of Madison, Shawe Memorial’s principal, started their busy day Wednesday running back and forth between busing students to school, preparing for morning announcements and classroom visits. School president Phil Kahn said student enrollment is up by a couple of students, though, these numbers still are fluxuating.Pope John Elementary has lost five students, moving from 235 students last school year to 230 this year, and Shawe Memorial has gained 18 students this year, moving from 162 to 180. Most of these students are taken to school by their families, however, a small number of students do use the Madison Consolidated School buses, which will not run until next week when Madison Consolidated begins school. Kahn said there are not many students who ride MCHS buses and these students depend on family to get them to school if there are interruptions in Madison’s bus schedules. Principal Fewell also buses North Vernon Shawe students to and from school. The students who bus from North Vernon all meet at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and are unaffected by the new school bus law. With the recent increase in concern for bus safety, parents and students driving to Prince of Peace Schools Wednesday morning met an increased police presence and a speed radar sign before the schools. Kahn said the schools have been working with Madison Police Chief Jeremey Perkins to slow down traffic. “People need to slow down, and between the sign and the police presence, it was good,” Kahn said.