The new school year brings changes


Students and parents at select area schools will experience changes at the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Classes for many Monroe County schools begin Sept. 6, but some schools, including St. Joseph in Erie and Monroe Catholic Elementary Schools, are already open.

One of the biggest changes for students is the arrival at Waterloo Elementary School from Monroe Public Schools. After eight years, Waterloo students will no longer be required to wear uniforms.

Since 2014, boys wear khaki or navy blue pants and shorts, and girls wear pants, shorts, and skirts in the same colors. According to Monroe News records, the uniforms were adopted eight years ago with a new STEAM program.

“For the past two years, the USDA has offered waivers to infant nutrition programs across the United States, allowing those programs to provide all students with breakfast and lunch at no charge. Unfortunately, these waivers have expired,” said Ida Public Schools. “Beginning this school year, child nutrition programs across the country will resume normal pre-pandemic operations.”

Jefferson High School Elizabeth Cousino, 18, painting bubbles to accompany her turtle and a message for her senior parking spot.

Jameson Schmitt, a sixth grader from Waterloo, circulated a petition to abolish the uniform policy. He spoke in front of the school board and his proposal was approved.

Some school districts, including Ida and Bedford, will see the end of free lunches this year. Due to the pandemic, schools were able to offer free meals, but this benefit has ended.

Families can still apply for the Free and Reduced Price Meals Program.

Airport Community Schools Wagar Middle School added a new position this year. The school will now have a liaison officer. Mike Depew was hired to fill the role.

Monroe Public Schools and Bedford Public Schools are breaking new grass on their football fields this year, while St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Erie has added Latin to the curriculum. St. Patrick’s School in Carleton is now one of 650 classical schools in the country.

“Simply put, a classical school is about teaching a child ‘how to think’ and ‘what to do,'” said Carl Lenze, principal. “The idea is to teach students how to think so that they really think and act correctly, which was the goal of the Romans and Greeks. It was the education of the Christian Middle Ages, of the American Founding Fathers and their Catholic and Puritan predecessors. It was the dominant education in the 20th century before being phased out over a period of about 40 years.

Here is a summary of some of the changes in store at other area schools.

Bedford Public Schools:

Shelly Farris is the new Director of Food Services.

Along with the new synthetic turf pitch, a new lighting system has been installed at Bedford Community Stadium.

A new spiral slide was built at Jackman Road Elementary and Bedford Junior High School got new elevator mechanisms. Hallways were repainted in high school and new ceiling tiles were installed.

Approximately $193,000 in new equipment was installed for the CTE department. The equipment and will be used in the Machine Tool, Automotive, TV/Radio and Cybersecurity/Networking programs.

The buses have new cameras.

17-year-old Jefferson High School senior Clare Conover painted an ocean wave for her senior parking spot.

“There will be an exterior camera to assist in enforcement of laws requiring drivers to stop for buses with their flashing red lights,” the district said. “There is no road pattern in Bedford Township where a driver would not need to stop once a bus activates flashing red lights. This includes busy roads like Lewis, Sterns and Secor.

Buses will also be equipped with interior cameras to help with disciplinary issues.

Airport Community Schools:

The district will have two new directors this year. Matthew Furtney is the new principal of Niedermeier Elementary School. He is the former vice principal of Airport High School and has worked in the district for over 10 years. Jeffrey Oesch will succeed Furtney as vice-principal of the high school. Oesch is a former high school social studies teacher and has worked in the district for three years.

New staff members include: Hollis LaBeau-Hodges, Elementary Social Worker; Emily Adams, a middle school social studies teacher; Lauren Alarie, high school physical education and health teacher; Amber Brennan, fourth grade teacher at Eyler; Kristin Burnett, fourth-grade teacher at Niedermeier; Alisia Chmielewski, elementary school music teacher; Rodney Fater, a college social studies professor; Kayla Feldt, kindergarten teacher at Sterling; Rachel Kowalczik, college social studies professor; Madison Mannix, kindergarten teacher in Niedermeier; Sara McVey, first grade teacher at Ritter; Middle School English/Language Teacher Chelsea Raisanen; Kimberly Rocholl, special education teacher at Wagar; Hannah Slane, second grade teacher at Eyler, and Joshua Webb, high school science student.

Several other staff members have changed positions.

Many improvements have been made to buildings in the district, including repairs to the gymnasium floor at Niedermeier Elementary School and a new gymnasium floor at Wagar Middle School. Several schools got new outdoor LED lighting.

All buildings will have new English and language arts curricula. Wagar Middle School will move from an eight-period schedule to a six-period schedule to mirror that of high school. CM2 students will have a “team” schedule to prepare them for college.

Jefferson High School Jillian Baker, 18, chose pink and white flowers for her senior parking spot with her message.

Summerfield Schools:

New staff includes: Camryn Klocinski, junior/senior high school principal; Kayla Keller, elementary school teacher, and Teresa Lewis, high school math teacher.

Several new courses are debuting this year, including AP Biology, Literature Through Film, History of American Warfare, and Group Fitness. Another novelty, robotics in colleges and high schools, a local community care and LEAP (Leadership, Empowering and Advocating for Peers).

Projects completed over the summer include painting and installing security cameras. New stage curtains and a sound system were installed.

Gibraltar School District:

Several new staff members have been hired, including Adrianna Roberts, director of Chapman; Kelly Michael, Special Education Manager; Maegen Laub, social worker; Brooke Madgwick, high school science teacher; Jill Balogh, high school math teacher; Mitchell Karczewsk, college computer science teacher; Jessica Ohneck, Chapman kindergarten teacher, and Jason Patterson, high school construction trades teacher.

A STEM-focused college program will debut and is open to high school juniors.

Building improvements include lighting upgrades and roofing projects at middle and high schools. Paving, painting and playground projects have been completed in several buildings.

For his parking space, Austin Williams, a senior from Jefferson High School, painted the tortoise of "The world of Nemo."

St. Mary’s Catholic Central Secondary School:

Three new collaborators have been hired: Natalie Metzger, dean of students; Jared Janssen, director of sports and campus operations, and Dr. Carl Parran, professor of theology.

St. Joseph School, Erie:

Megan Lavin will be teaching second grade this year. Brittany Fowler will teach physical education. Jackson Reeves will teach the new special course, Latin.

The school also installed a new HVAC system.

Monroe Catholic Elementary Schools:

A new program, Friendzy SEL, is making its middle school debut.

The school walls were painted on the St. Mary’s campus.

New staff includes: Natalie Metzger, dean of students; Riley Woolford, professor of social studies; Maryah Fox, science teacher; Scot Peterson, third grade teacher, and Whitney Kuchna, office assistant.

Olivia Peare, 17, a high school student from Jefferson, painted a parking spot pink with flowers for her senior year.

Holy Spirit Lutheran School:

Two new staff members will start this year: Ashley Morse, kindergarten teacher and ECC director, and Tammy Castiglione, teacher from the Department of Special Education.

Improvements to the building include a new roof, new desks and chairs, and additional lockers.

Montessori Meadow:

Several new outdoor structures and vegetable and flower gardens have been added.

Two teachers are new: Lourdes Braunlich, teacher for Children’s House North, and Margaret Roehrig, teacher for Upper Elementary East. Two other adults will begin Montessori training this year: Naomi Vaive in the infant/toddler program and Jaclyn Childers in the preschool level.

Luowei Liao will teach Chinese and introduce Japanese as an elective for high school students.

Jefferson High School Kayce Maitland, 17, working in her senior parking spot with a dog, a surfboard and a tropical tree.

Zion Lutheran School:

The Abeka Language Arts program and the TCI Social Studies program are new for K-4 students.

Saint-Charles Academy:

This year, each child will have a Chromebook or an iPad, depending on their level. Improvements have been made to the early childhood washrooms.

St. Patrick’s School, Carleton:

Robert Lothian is a new staff member this year.

Improvements to the building include a new roof and swing set.

New Bedford Academy:

A counselor has joined the team.

“The counselor will meet with any student who may need to speak to someone,” the school said. “They will also help with social interactions, anger management, conflict resolution, and other situations that might distract our children from the fun and excitement of learning.”

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