Schools have ‘awesome’ beginning

I really do not know how the first week of school could have gone any better. What an awesome beginning.

Great things are already happening. Here are some highlights I want to share with you.

Shouse honored: Senior Shelby Shouse, a member of the Xenia color guard, was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award in color guard from FJM, Inc. This award is given to individuals who are dedicated and determined. Her instructors said that she was a selfless leader, very talented, passionate and inspiring.

Thanks Xenia Church of the Nazarene: In early August more than 50 volunteers from the Xenia Church of the Nazarene invested approximately 200 work hours into improvements at Warner. They installed a tether ball on the playground, painted two new four square courts, painted a basketball key area, and painted line-up lines. They completed a major clean-up and organization of the stage and set up all of the cardio equipment. They took the lock faces off about 450 lockers to prepare the lockers for new lock installation.

They hung 1,400 welcome messages to students inside every locker. Another team hung approximately 150 PBIS posters throughout the school and distributed another 70 to classrooms. A group weeded, trimmed bushes, raked up debris, edged the sidewalks, mulched all around the building and also transformed the courtyard. Dean’s Landscaping donated 10 cubic yards of mulch and a truck to the project. There was also a group working to ready Warner’s new BUC store for students. This activity was coordinated by Assistant Principal Heather Sage.

WEB: More than 60 eighth grade student leaders attended a workshop to prepare for the sixth and seventh grade WEB Programs. WEB stands for Where Everyone Belongs. This is a welcoming program which also focuses on character building and anti-bullying. Teachers Karen Nolen and Dana McClain are the group leaders. Eighth grade student Tyra Goins was honored to make the One Call Now inviting all of the students to attend. Their WEB shirt says it all: “A Leader is one who Knows the Way, Goes the Way and Shows the Way.”

Character trait of the month: Tecumseh has implemented a Character Trait of the Month Program. Guidance Counselor Marisa Morrison has developed a year-long program where students will be learning and practicing a character trait through counseling lessons and daily encouragement as part of the morning announcements. Through the the use of a “Superhero” she is encouraging the students to make character traits a part of their daily lives.

The kickoff assembly for “Books Are Our Thing At Tecumseh” (BAOTAP) occurred last week. Ms. Summers from the Greene County Library challenged the students to read 25,000 books as a school. Travis Matson was named Super Staff Member of the Week at Tecumseh for going room to room to see if anyone needed assistance with technology.

Beds at high school: Some students worked on mulching the beds around the building. Amy Edwards led a group of 15 middle school students who attend Patterson Park Church. There were a total of 22 students from grades 6-8 who did service projects. Thanks to Edwards for thinking of the school district when coordinating the service project.

Summary of tech purchases: This summer we added 1271 Chromebooks to the elementary buildings with 312 of these devices being touch screen Chromebooks for the kindergarten students. We also added 440 devices to WMS and XHS. WMS also has the 348 additional laptops that were purchased for sixth grade last year.

In addition to that, each main office secretary and certified staff member received a new desktop and monitor. The technology being replaced was seven years old. Thanks to Christy Fielding and the tech staff for making this happen.

New board member: With school board member Arch Grieve accepting a new position and moving outside of the school district, the board is in the process of selecting a new board member to replace him. Eight candidates expressed an interest in this open position. Four were interviewed Tuesday, while the other four were interviewed Wednesday. The hope is for a candidate to be selected very soon.

Enrollment: For the second year in a row our student enrollment numbers are higher than were projected. We will not have exact numbers for a while as we are still enrolling and withdrawing students. I can tell you though that we are adding two additional teachers to our elementary buildings due to increased student enrollment numbers. This is definitely a nice situation in which to be.

By Denny Morrison

Denny Morrison is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.