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D-BMS welcomes principal

When asked who was more nervous starting school this year, Bryant-Dawson Middle School’s new principal Ellen Adkins or the students, she said it was probably the sixth-grade class.

They are going from the elementary school, where they have spent the past six years to a different building.

“It’s their first year in a different school but most of them were pretty happy, they enjoyed their first day,” Adkins said.

Adkins spent last year as the assistant principal at the high school after 10 years of teaching math there.

“I felt like I could help more students by being a principal,” she said, adding she was pretty nervous on the first day of school last Friday but probably not as much as the sixth-graders.

And just so it wouldn’t be a total shock to them, last year the students spent a day at the middle school.

“Last May, they came in for a day and saw who their teachers were going to be and got to see the building,” Adkins said.

On Wednesday evening, there will be a “welcome back to school” dance from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the middle school gymnasium. Students can wear casual clothes.

“That way they can mingle with their friends a little bit and maybe make new friends,” Adkins said.

As for goals for the 2006-2007 school year, Adkins said they will continue to try to improve on the state tests.

“We want to meet our indicators for Ohio Graduation Test,” she said “And I want to make it a great year for our students.”

Every school in Ohio is rated on 25 different indicators including student graduation rates, school attendance and how students do on proficiency tests.

Dawson-Bryant schools were all rated “effective” on the last state School Local Report.

Also this year, there will be two new middle school teachers, Carrie Holland, language arts, and Hillary Mayes, science.

Dawson-Bryant High School freshman get a little help from mentors to deal with the transition from middle school.

The Freshman Academy was created by the Advisory Board after the results of a student aspiration survey came back. The goal of the mentoring program 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 Dawson-Bryant High School 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 done in conjunction with the Collins Career Center.

The program introduces students to the field of engineering and technology by having them do hands-on work. The program was started because of the shortage of engineers in America.

There will be five new high school 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.