Caddo Parish Public Schools started a new school year today with the traditional Ring the Bell ceremony, which was held at Turner Elementary.

The event highlighted several students from different Caddo schools -- fourth grader Jacie LaCour gave the invocation, followed by the posting of colors by the C.E. Byrd High School JROTC, Pledge of Allegiance by second grader Devin Graham, and singing of the National Anthem by Ainsley Gordy, a fifth grader at Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School.

Turner fifth grader Jaylen Pruitt did a fabulous job welcoming everyone to the school auditorium. (He didn't even look down at his papers on the podium.)

The Youree Drive Middle School Cheerleaders were also on hand to perform the Ring the Bell Cheer.



Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler addressed the group, stressing two very important topics: respect and getting a good education.

"Before we talk about respecting authority, we must first talk about respecting ourselves, young people," Tyler said. "That begins with loving yourself and caring enough to present yourself in a manner that is upright and fitting of a student at this school and schools throughout this great parish."

Tyler also told the students they should treat other people the way they want to be treated.

"Also we want to say to you that adults, teachers, law enforcement, all represent levels of authority which you should follow," she said. "These people in your life are not there simply to lord over you, or to take away all of your freedoms. I know sometimes you feel that way. Rather, they're present to serve as guides who shape and mold you to function optimally in this world."

The mayor talked about her years in education, and as school superintendent, stressing the importance of getting a quality education and what the kids can accomplish once they complete that achievement.

School Superintendent Lamar Goree was among the first group of students to attend Turner when it opened its doors in 1984-85. He said people left private schools to come back to the neighborhood school.

"There is a positive energy in Caddo Parish and I encourage all of you to continue to do all you can to support that energy," Dr. Goree said. "I end it by saying 'I am Caddo.' But it's obvious to me that WE are Caddo."

The ceremony ended with this familiar sound:



Take a look at photos from the ceremony: