By Lenny C. Lepola
Asked about changes ahead at Big Walnut High School, Principal Jeff Jones said the district is always exploring new and better ways to inspire and guide each student to his or her maximum potential.
Jones said with a larger incoming freshman class than the outgoing senior class of 2014, the high school will serve close to 1,000 students during the 2014-2015 school year.
While the first day of school district-wide is Wednesday, August 13, Jones said freshmen would attend an orientation from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Buses will transport freshmen to the orientation just like on a normal school day.
“Wednesday, Aug. 13, will be a regular full day of school for all students, beginning at 7:40 a.m. sharp,” Jones said. “We will be operating on a new bell schedule as the district moves to a two-tier bus schedule this year,. School will begin at 7:40 a.m. and students will get out at 2:20 p.m. Adding minutes back into the day is always exciting — more time on task.”
Jones said during the rapidly approaching school year additional sections of art classes have been added to accommodate increased student interest in the arts.
“We expect to continue our great traditions of excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics,” Jones said. “Our students are our strength, supported by our outstanding staff - a great combination for success.”
The high school has a host of new administrators, teachers and support staff coming on board to replace retiring staff, reassigned staff and staff who moved on at the end of the last school year.
“Ben Steele will teach math, Amanda Reynolds will be coming from the middle school to teach English and Jeff Stimmell is our new Ag Science teacher,” Jones said. “Former English teacher Sarah Wytzka is now an assistant principal along with newcomer Bridgette Firstenberger. Brian Shelton will take over as Athletic Director and Melanie Bok has been transferred from the counseling department to become the new athletics secretary.”
Jones also noted the Shelly Posey is coming on board as a secretary and Joe Mudd will be the high school’s new third shift custodian.
“Our custodial staff, as usual, has done a magnificent job over the summer months making our building ready for students,” Jones said. “We have an outstanding group of custodians who take pride in our building, making it look brand new each and every year.”