Nearly 70 fifth-grade students from Oak and Bailey elementary schools visited the Stone Ledge Sculpture Garden in Plattsburgh on Friday, June 14. The students toured the grounds and made their own temporary installation pieces, which became part of the sculpture garden.
There will be a collective sigh across the North Country this week as students, parents and school faculty members catch the final breaths of summer and gain enthusiasm for the upcoming school year.
“We’re excited for everyone to come back and we’re ready to get back to work in our schools,” said Chazy Rural School Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein.
At Chazy, Brimstein said students will be welcomed with a lot of energy from new staff members.
“We had a fair amount of staff members choose to retire last year because of the incentive,” Brimstein said.
New Staff members include: Karen Rock in Business; Rosemary Manchester in English Language Arts; Alessandra DeLucas ESL; Matt Warren teaching English Language Arts; John Clemons teaching Math; Greg Badger teaching Art; Megan Yonteff Teaching Music; Dan VanNederynen Teaching Assistant; Holly Parks Teaching Assistant; Mike Petrone teaching Technology; Aubrey Fulton teaching French; Carrie Lamora teaching Business; Vicki Tedford teaching Health, and Alexis Agnew Teaching Assistant.
Brimstein said new substitutes also include Scott Tarbox, Chad Duprey and Jaclyn Sullivan.
“The new faculty members will go through a yearlong program working together so they can become the best teachers they could be,” Brimstein said. “The existing staff members will come in and do focus groups too so they can learn as a group about the computer systems, brainstorm teaching practices that are working and those that aren’t — it’s a simple program to help everyone learn a whole new system.”
Staff and students will also be welcomed with the familiar image of the clock tour, but with a surprise this year.
“Our clock tour will be up and ticking!” Fairchild said. The clock tour, which Brimstein said hasn’t worked in many years, will be a symbolic gesture for “getting things working” he said.
The building has also undergone extensive construction over the summer.
“All construction people we have seen around the school this summer will be completely gone by the time the students get back,” Brimstein said. “There was a lot of damage from Irene that we were able to fix, like the flooding damage to the south end of the elementary school and we decided to create a drainage system to pull water away from the school instead of letting it leak into our basement.”
During construction the elementary school which was combined to be a kindergarten through sixth grade facility combined the two elementary offices into one.
“Parents will still be greeted at the offices they always have been,” Brimstein said. “The staff members will go to the old offices in the morning and afternoon when kids are being picked up and dropped off and return to the new office across from the gymnasium to conduct their work.”
As things begin to change, Brimstein said they are asking for parents’ comments, concerns and ideas for creating the best entryway through the school.
“In order to make the community feel a part of the system we’ll have meetings,” said Brimstein.
The number of students attending Chazy will be similar to last year with just under 2,000 starting school.
At Plattsburgh City Schools, Superintendent James “Jake” Short said they are ready for the new school year and though there are some new faces in administration, they are familiar faces.
Stafford Middle School will have a new Assistant Principal, Jamie LaBarge, former Plattsburgh City High School Assistant Principal. LaBarge will fill the position left behind by Patty Amo who retired at the end of the last school year.
“We are confident he is ready for this position, in his tenure at PHS, he has been very reliable and he understands the district,” Short said. “A lot of factors show his character, his efforts as an EMT and his former teaching career at Northern Adirondack all show his readiness for this position.”
David Baroody will step into the position left vacant by LaBarge. Short said Baroody places kids, parents, and faculty members very highly and has shown dedication to the school community.
Baroody formerly taught sports education at Peru Central School and is a former PHS graduate.
“It is nice to see someone come home, clearly he has shown an initiative to work hard and come back to the area, it’s a good feeling to welcome a former student,” said Fairchild.
Northern Adirondack Central school will begin on Sept. 5 and on Sept. 9 the community is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony officially to showcase the extensive renovations to the elementary school and high school.