By Lenny C. Lepola
General Rosecrans Elementary School Principal Jen Young said after her first year at GRE she’s looking forward to continuing to inspire and guide students by providing a positive school culture and continuing the district’s tradition of academic excellence.
“GRE is so fortunate to have the wonderful parent and community support that we have,” Young said. “As I’m often heard saying, the Big Walnut community is second to none. The parent involvement in our school, the community collaboration and a student body full of children of great character is what makes GRE and this community truly unique. I’m 100 percent sold on Big Walnut and couldn’t imagine raising my own future children in a better community.”
Some GRE students will now attend Harrison Street Elementary because of redistricting, but, Young said, that process also brought some new families under the GRE umbrella.
“While we are sad to see some of our GRE family move to Harrison Street Elementary this year, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new families,” Young said. “We will be welcoming over 50 new families and 14 new staff members this year.
“I’m looking forward to jumping back into our positive school climate activities that were initiated last year,” she said. “The Principal’s Party Wagon will be making its monthly rounds again this year to reward students for their positive character and representing what it truly means to be a GRE student, along with the Big S award for hallway behavior, the assessment week survivor challenge and Green Bees.”
Young said last year was the first year for student clubs at GRE, with Eagles on the Run, News Crew and an After-school Adventures STEM program. She said this year GRE will strengthen the programs that began last year, as well as add new leadership opportunities for students.
“We’ve added new staff this year to replace staff who have moved on to Harrison Street, retired or taken positions outside the district,” Young said. “On board will be Instructional Facilitator Kevin Masterson; first grade teacher Jen Valentik; third grade teachers Christy Bryant and Angie Keller; in fourth grade we’ll have Beth Heizer; and Casandra Nigl will serve as an Intervention Specialist.”
Young also said Jeni Carpenter would be the GRE Technology Teacher; Tiffany Watt, Renee Wodzinski and Jen Haley will serve as tutors; Michelle McDermott, Mindi Pallone and Marianna Hines will serve as Educational Assistants; and Chad Woodard is coming on board as a custodian.
“All of our classrooms are now outfitted with a SmartBoard, thanks to our (Parent Teacher Organization), and we have 10 new Chromebooks for student use,” Young added. “We will be continuing to reach out to families through eagle-i and my weekly emails, our school Facebook page, the school website, monthly newsletters, fliers sent home weekly in the General Express and parent events such as Principal’s Coffee. If you haven’t had a chance to sign-up for eagle-i or our school Facebook page, check out our website to get connected to both.”
Young said GREs Meet & Greet will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Curriculum Night is at 6 p.m. Aug. 19.