Excitement building as start of school approaches
Written by Administrator
Friday, 24 August 2012 02:50
By Caleb Stento
It’s time to ring in another school year. Preparations are well under way in the Ouray School District. The excitement was palpable in Ouray Superintendent/Principal Scott Pankow's voice, as he talked about staff additions and new course offerings. He can’t wait to get the year started.
High school and middle school band teacher Andre WIlkins has taken a position at another school and will not be returning this year. In his place, Ouray has hired first year teacher Mary Elizabeth MacPhail. MacPhail hails from New York and holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Houghton College. John Ferguson has been coaxed out of retirement to teach math part time. He’ll be tackling Algebra I and Geometry. Ferguson has 31 years of experience as a math teacher, 20 in middle school and 11 in high school.
Ouray will also see the addition of two new para-professionals, Diane Todd and Erica Jones. Several new faces will appear on the coaching front. CJ Rabinowitz will be at the helm in Volleyball and Brittany Kunz is taking over as girls middle school basketball coach.
School starts on Aug. 29 for pre-school and Aug. 27 for K-12. Of course, what student isn’t looking already looking forward to vacation time they will have? Scheduled breaks are as follows:
• Thanksgiving – Nov. 19 – 23
• Christmas – Dec. 24 – Jan. 9
• Spring Break – April 27 – May 9
There are a few fresh course offerings of note, including a Current World Affairs class being taught by Lisa Plank, a robotics class, new upper level math offerings and college concurrent classes.
Enrollment numbers for grades K-12, although down from 194 last year to 187 this year, continue to be strong. “Some of the kids who are traditionally home-schooled are coming in. They are seeing some of the greatness that is happening here and wanting to be part of it,” Pankow said.
One strong point Pankow touted was the middle school’s 100 percent growth in math, propelling Ouray to a ranking of third in the state. Pankow attributed this success to the students, middle school teachers and early preparation by teachers and staff at the elementary level.