By Lenny C. Lepola
Big Walnut Elementary School Principal Mark Cooper said his building’s staff is excited to welcome students and families on board for the 2014-2015 school year.
“As always, the strong relationship with and involvement of our families and community are vital to helping us to continue our mission of inspiring and guiding each student to his or her maximum potential,” Cooper said. “We have reviewed student data from the end of last year to aid in developing our goals and plans for this year. At the onset of the year, all students will be assessed in key skills in reading, writing and math to further help us in planning and ensuring that supports are in place for students of all academic levels.”
Cooper said he and his staff are also excited to continue supporting BWE students on the social and emotional side of their school life, providing character education and opportunities for all students to grow throughout the year.
“For those who were familiar with BWE last year, some changes have taken place over the summer,” Copper said. “First, with the reopening of Harrison Street Elementary and redistricting, we now have space for our expected 350 students to receive instruction inside the building at all times, as classrooms in the modular units have been moved inside.”
Cooper also noted that in balancing staff experience and expertise across the district by having some staff members move to other buildings, BWE is welcoming a few new faces this year, some of whom were employees of the district last year in different buildings and some who are new to the district.
“Kori Rigo has joined our first grade team, and new members of our third grade team include Sarah Kuhn, Kelsie Zak, and Andrea Kavalieros,” Cooper said. “Joining our fourth grade team this year is Penny Lacy and Milea Sarap. Shea Spak and Susan Missman have come to BWE as intervention specialists, and our new physical education teacher is Charlie Brodhead.”
Cooper said Megan Johnston will serve as the BWE psychologist, a shared position with several other district buildings, and Andrea Clark is the BWE instructional facilitator this year.
“Perhaps the biggest change that many will notice is that doors have been added to all of our classrooms in the building, helping to promote the safety of our students and staff,” Cooper said.
Cooper said there would be a 3 to 4 p.m. Meet and Greet on Tuesday. Wednesday is the first day of classes for grades one through four; Aug. 18 is the first day for half and full-day Kindergarten students; and a Curriculum Night will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 19.
“We are deeply appreciative for the supportive community that we serve and look forward to helping our students to continue to become productive, responsible citizens within the greater community,” Cooper said. “We would love for any parents and guardians to become a part of our incredible Parent Teacher Organization, which has had a huge impact on the technology and excitement within our building.”
Cooper also invited folks to like Big Walnut Elementary School on Facebook, where they can receive additional information and news during the school year.