From Staff Reports

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2006

Within the next two weeks, the halls of Lawrence County’s schools will resonate again with the sound of clanging locker doors, students’ voices and class period bells.

This week The Ironton Tribune begins a 10-part series on the 2006-2007 school year and what changes students will find when they return to class.

Today, the focus is on the area’s high schools.

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At Chesapeake High School, things will remain much as they did last year. The school graduated 92 last year and expects that number to continue to grow. Joe Rase will return as principal.


At Dawson-Bryant High School in Coal Grove, freshman will be getting some mentoring to deal with the transition from middle school.

The Freshman Academy was created by the Advisory Board after reading read a student aspiration survey. The goal is to make a student’s first high school year a positive experience.

“Teachers will be assigned a small group of freshmen and they will meet with them once a week and make calls home,” said Principal Steve Easterling. “A lot of times, freshmen have a lot of questions, they hear rumors and so forth. This will give them someone to go to.”

The school system is also continuing the middle school pre-engineering program called Project Lead the Way, which is is being done in conjunction with the Collins Career Center.

“It introduces students to the field of engineering and technology,” Easterling said. “It’s a very good program. They do a lot of things with automation and engineering.”

He said the program was started because of the shortage of engineers in America.

“The hope is that if the students take these classes early it will increase the number and quality of engineers,” Easterling said.

There will be five new teachers: Ivan Shields, Project Lead the Way; Hope Mullins, English; Terry Potter, English; Dean Mader, social studies; Monica Mahlmeister, social studies; and a new librarian, Cynthia Scott.

Fairland High School

Fairland High School is also welcoming some new faces. Most notably, Roni Hayes is taking over as principal. She will replace David Judd, who resigned after more than three decades working in the system.

Hayes, a former teacher and administrative assistant and graduate of Fairland, said the district has also hired a handful of new teachers.

“We are extremely excited about the upcoming school year. It’s an exciting time for all of us,” she said.


Although school is still a few days away, Green High School is already getting ready for their first day of school on Aug. 21, and the school is preparing for all the new changes and improvements this 2006-2007 school year has to offer.

The reigning school president, David Hopper, is excited about the four new college tech prep programs: Project Lead the Way, Teaching Pathway program, Financial Services and Risk Management and Human Resources Foundation program.

The creation of these new college tech prep programs is to ensure a “seamless pathway from high school to college to careers, meeting Ohio’s technological employment needs,” Hopper said.

Project Lead the Way is a nationally recognized pre-engineering and engineering tech program where students can receive college credit in engineering studies at certain colleges and universities. The program

is funded by a $20,000 grant, and classes are open to all high school students.

Green also is offering the Teaching Pathway program and Financial Services and Risk Management program.

FSRM will be an updated form of the current accounting classes with added areas of concentration including commercial banking, real estate, insurance and risk management.

Green High School will also be implementing a new quarterly assessment program, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), which is an online testing system that measures an individual student’s growth in the areas of math, reading and science.

And in an effort to curb high school dropouts, Green has created an online recovery program that will allow for students to make up credits previously unattained due to failure. A class period dedicated to this program allows students to make up missed credits.

Furthermore, students will receive additional support and attention this upcoming year with the advent of an adviser/advisee program. All teachers will meet weekly with 12 or 13 students to assist students in both social and academic endeavors.

New teachers for the 2006-2007 school year are Christina Webster (H.S. Math), Victoria Rosenberger (Jr. H.S. Science), Joe Salyers (H.S. Social Studies), Robert Purcell (H.S. Social Studies), Mindy Clark (Business), Jaqueline Payton (H.S. English), and Shaun Allen (Project Lead The Way - Pre-Engineering).

Ironton High School

Some new faces will greet students when they return this week.

Over the summer, the school board hired a new head football coach, Merrill Triplett, and assistant coaches as well as a new band director, John Kenneth McCoy.

New teachers also will replace some that retired at the end of the last school year.

Rock Hill High School

As is the case with Ironton and other high schools, Rock Hill students will return to find a few new faces smiling at them.

Among the lot are three new teachers: biology teacher Samantha Bond, social studies teacher Jeff Fraley and English teacher Christi Kinder. Lambert hopes to have a new assistant principal hired by then as well. The school board voted last week to create an assistant principal’s position and post it.

“We have some new teachers this year, young teachers,” Lambert said. “It was sad to see some of the retired teachers leave but we do have some good teachers coming in.”

The high school will offer a new advanced placement music class this year. Band Director Scott Jones will teach it. The class is offered to the school’s outstanding musical talent.

Pleased with the school’s academic performance that has steadily climbed in the last couple of years, Lambert said he is looking forward to a continuation of that success during the new school year.

“We had a lot of success last year with different programs, and I feel certain that will continue this year,” Lambert said. “Last year was tremendous for our quiz bowl team, our athletics, and our seniors got more than $1 million in scholarships. The challenge is to do better on test scores this year than last year.”

The first day of class for Rock Hill students is Aug. 18.

St. Joseph Catholic High School

Approximately 90 students will fill the halls of St. Joseph this year and Principal Jim Mains said they will find no large changes this year from last year.

“Just the normal thing,” he said. “We’re getting everything clean and ready.”

The 2005-06 school year ended with a grand finale— literally. More than 30 students and adult chaperones explored Italy on a nine-day school trip. Mains said one successful adventure may eventually lead to another.

“We’re going to try to get it on a two or three year cycle,” he said.

Teachers will have in-service training Aug. 15-16. The first day for students is Aug. 17.

South Point

In South Point, students will be seeing several new teachers when they report for class Friday. The district has hired five teachers and Eddie Scott will be taking over as the school’s new principal. Stout will replace George York who is now at the helm of the middle school.

“We are very excited about this school year,” Scott said. “We lost some quality people, but we replaced them with quality people. We are taking a negative and trying to make it into a positive.”

Other than the new staff members, Scott said the school, as well as the others in the district, are in a holding pattern because of the construction of new schools.

The high school and middle school — separate but adjoining buildings currently under construction on County Road 60, just off U.S. 52 near Highland Memorial Gardens — will be the first to be constructed, but plans are to replace all four schools in the district, with a total price tag of more than $42 million. Due to lack of space at its current location, South Point Elementary will be built on the grounds of the old high school and middles school buildings which will be demolished once the new ones are constructed. The new Burlington will be built at its current site.

The new schools are expected to be open at the beginning of the 2007 school year.

“We are really looking forward to the new building and we are already making plans,” Scott said.

Symmes Valley

Students at Symmes Valley High School will get to face what most Americans fear — public speaking. A Gallup poll on fear found the number one fear is snakes, followed closely by having to speak in public.

Principal Jeff Saunders said most colleges require students to take a public speaking class.

“So we felt this would better prepare the student who are entering in college,” he said. Luckily for the shy, the class is an elective not a requirement.

The school is also continuing the popular Viking Incentive Program it began last year.

“The students have different ways they can earn Viking bucks and at the end of the year we have a drawing and the students can win prizes,” Saunders said. “It was a really good program and the students loved it.”

There are also wo new teachers, Brian Schnider, biology, and Meghan Leighty, English.

Saunders said there has also been work done on the landscaping around the school.

“This is a place of education but we think it is important that it is a pleasant place to come to, not some place they dread coming too in the morning,” he said. “I’m a strong believer that if a student enjoys coming to school, you’re going to get more out of them academically.”

There will be an open house at Symmes Valley High School on Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Students can get their schedule and meet their teachers.