The best news about the opening days of school is if there is no news.
That means things went smoothly and Newcomerstown school administrators were unanimous in saying that the first week of school was remarkably unremarkable, except for all the remarkable students streaming through the doors of the high school, Middle School, West Elementary and East Elementary.
Supt. Jeff Staggs said that from his perspective, the start of school went smoothly.
"We were excited seeing all the familiar and new faces at school," Supt. Staggs said. "We were also excited to introduce the one to one initiative to students at the middle school and high school. Parents, if you have any questions please contact your child’s teacher or building administrator."
Newcomerstown High School Principal Josh Branch said staff and students had a great first week of school.
"We had assembly first day of school where we introduced our fall teams and teachers to the student body," Branch said. "We had our club leaders introduce the different clubs that we have in the building and what activities that they take part in throughout the year.
"I think we have had a smooth start to the school year, because our students and staff understand what we are doing and the expectations that we have for our students at NHS! This is the second year for the staff and upperclassmen and they are aware of the different activities that we do. We are really happy with how respectful and courteous our students have been, but that is something that we have grown accustomed too. We have great kids at NHS!"
Newcomerstown High School is also gearing up for the annual Homecoming activities this week. This year's homecoming parade will be Thursday, Sept. 6, beginning at 3:45 p.m. at Newcomerstown High School. The parade will follow the following route: Oak to River to Church to College to Main to Goodrich back to the high school. Any community business/club/organization/political candidate, etc that would like to be in the parade is asked to call Sally Lenhoff at the high school at 740-498-5111, ext 11124. The crowning of this year's homecoming queen will take place before the football game that evening. The homecoming dance will be in the high school commons on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 7-10 p.m.
"We would like to thank our custodians and maintenance staff as they have done a great job of getting our buildings ready once again," Branch said. "The building was in great shape for students and staff."
Middle School Principal Jason Peoples addressed his remarks to Trojan Nation:
"The floors have that new year shine, the building has that start of the year smell, and the buzz is in the air around the district athletically," Peoples said. "Our custodians have spent the summer making the building look fantastic. Thank you to our two wonderful secretaries at the Middle School have worked diligently to get everything ready for staff everyone to return to our school year!
"Teaching staff returned to the building on Aug. 15, and was greeted by Dr. Doug Reeves. Dr. Reeves is know world-wide for his effective research on educational practices that affect learning. They then got busy working in rooms to get prepared for students. (even though, most teachers already had them done!)
"New to our teaching staff this year, is Josh Green. Mr. Green will be teaching sixth grade social studies at the Middle School and is an alumnus of Newcomerstown Schools. We are proud to have Josh come home to continue building Trojan Pride! Also new to our building this year is Jason Leggett, who will be our Dean of Students. Mr. Leggett came to us from Newcomerstown High School after being in the classroom for the past six years.
"Students entered our Middle School on Aug. 20 for their first day. Since that day, our sports teams have been hard at work at practices and starting seasons in competition. Our Student Leadership Team has once again implimented the RESPECT Program with the their peers and respect ‘tickets’ are rolling in. The stuent leadership team is decorating lockers, and reinforcing our academic goals!!
"We are blessed to have the schools we have, the people we have working in them, and are passionate about making Newcomerstown Midddle School great. Best wishes to all on a great school year! GO TROJANS!!"
West Elementary Prinicpal Erin Peoples said West School started off the 2018-2019 school year with a great week.
"Students eased right back into our routines," she said. "We spent a lot of time the first week introducing ‘The Leader in Me’ with various activities based around the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’ Students are learning about being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand and then to be understood, synergizing and ‘sharpening the saw.’ We are looking forward to a great year!
East Elementary Principal Brian Collins said the East School also had a smooth start to the school year.
"We were able to take advantage of a full first week of school by developing a staggered schedule that eased our students into the year while providing one to one and small group opportunities for our students and teachers," Collins said. "By doing this, our students were able to learn school routines, get comfortable with their teachers and complete pre-assessment information vital to accurate planning."
Collins said that Newcomerstown has a great community that supports their children.
"That is evident by the amazing ‘Gateway to Fall’ festival that launched our new year," he said. "The Newcomerstown PTO also provided all elementary students necessary school supplies to ensure a successful start for all children. Mr. Nathan Mayse and Mrs. Sarah Johnson facilitated a summer school program to help ready students for the start of school. All of our teachers worked countless summer hours to ensure rooms were ready and were plans made for our students. All of the effort by the staff, community and parents has set our children up for success this school year!"