Chesapeake has new school superintendent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chesapeake Union Exempted Village School District is looking forward to the upcoming school year with several new programs and a new superintendent.

“Right now, we’re excited about our new superintendent that is coming on board the first of September,” said John Hayes, interim superintendent.

The new superintendent is Dr. Scott Howard, who started his superintendent career in Ironton. Then he was at Perry Schools for 10 years. While he was there, he was named Superintendent of the Year of Ohio public schools in 1997.

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“He has a broad range of experience that will be beneficial to the district,” Hayes said. “Also, we’re excited about our academic performance last year with 24 out of 30 state indicators, but we’re never satisfied, we always want to improve and we’ll work together as a district to continue to improve student learning.”

The district also will participate in the Ohio Appalachian Educators Institute with the purpose of improving student achievement.

One of the new programs that is starting in the eighth grade and continues through the 12th grade is Project Lead the Way. Eighth and ninth grade students will be taking pre-engineering in the project.

“It’s a program out of the vocational school,” said Joe Rase, Chesapeake High School principal. “It introduces students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering prior to entering college.”

A selection of students will be introduced to a pre-engineering program.

The project provides students with reality-based knowledge in mathematics, science, and technology. The main emphasis is on mathematics and science offering the students a complete career/technical concentration.

According to Project Lead the Way Web site, the curricula make math and science relevant for students. By engaging in hands-on, real-world projects, students understand how the skills they are learning in the classroom can be applied in everyday life.

This approach is called activities-based learning, project-based learning, and problem-based learning.

Two new teachers will be working with the students in Project Lead the Way, Brian Ferguson, project lead and Linda Harris, of the teacher academy.

Several new teachers are starting at the high school this year including Brent Mayo, math; Kerry Carrico, reading; and Pam Noble, intervention specialist.

At Chesapeake Middle School, an additional Algebra One class is added to the eighth grade level.

“We did everything new last year,” said Kim Wells, principal. “We started the drama club last year and we already have plans to do a Christmas play.”

The middle school also has a new Art Club. They participate in all the special events at the school doing any artwork for the events. On Valentine’s Day, they create Valentine grams.

This will be the second year for a math team approach at CMS.

This approach allows for students acceleration in math in sixth through eighth grades.

This is the first year that both the elementary and middle schools will have a full-time, dedicated school counselor for each building.

“We have after-school specials and at those, we keep our students after school and provide food, transportation and entrance into middle school athletics,” Wells said.

They will go to several sports events throughout the school year.

“We get large crowds attending and the students really enjoy that,” Wells said.

The school also started a drama club last year and they have plans to do a Christmas play this year.

Several new teachers are at the middle school this year including Ryan Davis, sixth and seventh grade mathematics; Thea Brown, intervention specialist; Bethany Hunt, language enrichment; and Heather Schwamberger, guidance counselor.

“We have high expectations from the students and the teachers to achieve success for the school year,” Wells said.

Chesapeake Elementary School, one of four schools in Lawrence County to receive and excellent rating on the Ohio Report Card, is looking forward to receiving the School of Excellence award by the director of the Ohio Department of Education.

“Our new music teacher is Bethany Himes, of Getaway, and we have Jamie Bellomy as the new first grade teacher,” said Jack Finch, Chesapeake Elementary School principal.

Himes is already planning programs for kindergarten through fourth grades and she is arranging music for the third- and fourth-grade Children’s Choir.

“We didn’t have a Children’s Choir last year,” Finch said. “She is highly recommended, and already has things organized with our staff meeting (Thursday) and we’re very excited to have her.”

The previous music teacher, Susan Lemke, who taught for 31 years, retired two years ago and came back to the school for one

school year.

The school is planning for Dr. Susan Zelman, director of the Ohio Department of Education, to come to the school and present the School of Excellence certificate for the 2006-07 school year.

“We’re very excited with our first grade teacher,” Finch said. “She has experience in intervention from the Dawson-Bryant School.”

The school had a very large turnout at the Open House on Wednesday, he said.

Brenda Hawthorne is president of the PTO and they have several activities scheduled this year, with a book fair in the fall.

“The staff and I are excited to see all the student’s faces and we look forward to another successful year,” Finch said.