It seemed mighty early, but the Eads School District started the school year right on schedule last Wednesday morning, August 8th with what is being described as an uptick in the school enrollment.
All in all, Superintendent Glenn Smith is pleased with the start of the 2018-2019 year as the student count in K-12 is up 11 students from this time a year ago. In addition, the preschool grew substantially with that enrollment raising from 22 a year ago to 35 today. That’s a whopping 37% increase in preschool enrollment in one year---and that is very good news for Smith and the district as a whole.
Luckily, one of the major summer projects was to expand the preschool classroom by knocking out some existing walls. That work was completed in time and the two preschool instructors including Director Kayla McLoud and teacher Tina Kraft have the busy classroom up and running as the seventeen 3-year-olds and the eighteen 4-year-olds came to school. According to Smith, “It is nice to have the Preschoolers back in the building!”
Smith is referring to the fact that for the past 3 school years the preschool classrooms have been located in the upstairs portion of the Bransgrove Building, owned by the county and located on Maine Street in Eads. “That was difficult to have them off campus,” according to Smith, “But we had a good working relationship with the County and we appreciated their assistance. But it is time they come back to the school.”
There is an upward trend in the enrollment in particularly the K-5 classrooms as overall, at this time, 81 students showed up for school in the Elementary set. This includes 12 Kindergarteners, 10 first graders, 14 second graders, 16 third graders, 15 fourth graders and 13 fifth graders. The elementary staff includes veteran teachers who have been a part of two major national awards and know what it takes for students to achieve. They include Mrs. Gay Uhland (Kindergarten), Mrs. Polly Gyurman (1st Grade), Mrs. Janelle Crow (2nd Grade), Mrs. Charlene Gifford (3rd Grade), Mrs. Alysha Morlan (4th Grade), and Mrs. Sharon Wilson (5th Grade). Mrs. Monica Uhland will be the elementary music teacher, while Mr. Trey Eder is the school’s Physical Education teacher and middle school and high school coach.
The Middle School population stayed about even from a year ago with a total of 38 middle schoolers coming to class to begin finding their lockers and figuring out their new schedules. They break down in numbers to twelve 6th graders, thirteen 7th graders, and 13 eighth graders. Middle School teachers include Mr. Justin McLoud (Science & Math), Mrs. Kelly Courkamp (Social Studies), and Mrs. Stephanie Bohlander (Language Arts). Other teachers also assist with these students including Mrs. LaDawne Britten who took up the call to teach 7th and 8th grade art this year, and Mrs. Monica Uhland who will teach Middle School music and drama to the 6th graders.
Eads High School is also looking at more students than last year as they are up to 53 students including 13 freshmen, 17 sophomores, 12 juniors, and 11 seniors. Mr. Brian Bohlander will take on the lead roll of high school Principal replacing Betsy Barnett upon her retirement in May. Bohlander also handles the mathematics classes at the high school. Bohlander is assisted from the library by DAC and Media Specialist LaDawne Britten. Mrs. Britten will continue to teach art in the high school this year, as well. The rest of the high school staff remains the same including Mrs. Mary Vasquez (Language Arts and School Counselor), Mrs. Dawn James (Social Studies), Mr. Joe Wagner (Sciences), Mrs. Shannon Ellenberger (Vocational Business), Ms. Lindsey Todd (Vocational Ag Education), and Mrs. Sue Fox (District K-12 Special Education).
There are also a handful of para-professionals and support who are helping with the educational needs this year including Brenda Stoker, Jessica Millspaugh, Linda Offill, and Kathy Watson.
Smith says he is pleased to be surrounded by a great group of support-role employees who hold down the systems for the district. They include Mrs. Pamela Cole and Mrs. Jackie Rittgers in the offices, Mrs. Nancy Walker takes care of the custodial duties, Mr. Daryll Adamson is the Transportation and Maintenance Director, and Mrs. Konda Howard and Mr. Charlie Vasquez does a fantastic job of feeding the students and staff each day in the cafeteria.
Yes, school is in session and the kids and parents of Eads are back on a schedule of early to bed and early to rise, looking forward to a whole lot of ballgames and extra-curricular activities, and, of course, happy to have this opportunity to attend one of the best schools in the state and learn together how to read, do math, and become the amazing citizens of tomorrow.