Superintendent’s Message – August 2015
As the years steadily pass by, I’m amazed at how much more quickly the summers seem to pass. Just a few weeks ago, the Wayne Trace Local Schools bid farewell to the great Class of 2015. Now, we excitedly anticipate the 2015-2016 school year, as the Class of 2016 becomes this year’s seniors, and the students of the Class of 2028 begin their kindergarten year. I can still remember the day my own children began kindergarten and fathom at how quickly those years passed, most of them with many great memories. I hope that you, too, have fond memories of your children beginning their first days of school and even better memories of their accomplishments and occasional trials and tribulations throughout their thirteen years of elementary and secondary education. Enjoy each day. But more importantly, please help to play a crucial role in the overall educational experience of your children by getting involved with school events, developing a professional relationship with your children’s teachers, and contacting the appropriate school personnel with questions and concerns. As I’ve stated many times before, a child’s education is a collective effort between school and home. Active communication is of the utmost importance.
School begins for students on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Now that summer is coming to a close and school is right around the corner, we hope that all students, as well as their parents, have had an enjoyable summer with fun and relaxation with family and friends.
Parents new to the district should contact the building principal(s) for information about enrolling their child(ren) in school. If you aren’t certain which elementary school your child will attend, contact the central office (419-399-4100) for that information.
At Wayne Trace, the board of education, administration, and faculty stress the importance of following the chain of command when resolving issues and concerns. Resolution will come more quickly if the chain of command is followed correctly. Parents with concerns about classroom issues should first reach out to the teacher of the class. Parents with concerns about issues in athletics should first reach out to the coach of the team. Most issues are able to be resolved at the first level when parents and staff members actively communicate with one another. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Speaking of staff members, Wayne Trace Local Schools is pleased to welcome several new faculty members for this year. At Wayne Trace JH/HS, Phil Nofziger takes over the reins as the principal, while new classroom teachers include Elizabeth Becker (Spanish), Katy Scarbrough (English), Maureen Sorenson (special education), and Angie Stokes (art). New classroom teachers at WT Payne include Christen Bauer (5th/6th grade), Kylie Ondrus (5th/6th grade), and Marta Wilder (3rd grade), while WTPE will welcome back Kevin Snyder (5th/6th grade) and WTGH will welcome back Tina Mead (2nd grade), who is transferring schools. Please join me in welcoming each of these new teachers to our district. And if your child will be having any of our new teachers, we hope that you are able to meet him/her early in the school year.
I have the great honor of announcing the Staff Hall of Fame Class of 2015. First revealed to the public at June’s board of education meeting, Mr. Robert Mutschelknaus and Mr. Larry Pressler will be inducted as the newest members of this prestigious group. Both inductees, along with members of each of their families, will be invited to participate in a formal ceremony prior to the start of the varsity football game on September 4. The members of the HOF committee would like to thank everyone who nominated a worthy staff member for this honor, as this award would not be possible without the support of those people who nominate former staff members.
In curriculum news, word is coming down from the Ohio Department of Education that the format for state-mandated testing could change once again this school year. PARCC testing (which handled the tests for math and English/language arts) is expected to be replaced by AIR (American Institutes for Research), which will handle the tests in all four content areas – English/language arts, math, science, and social studies. At Wayne Trace, the faculty and staff will once again prepare our students for this change, while continuing to teach the state content standards as required by ODE. With that said, a huge thank you goes out to our administrative team and our faculty for their efforts in handling the many expectations thrown at them by ODE, including the new content standards, student learning outcomes, and the teacher and principal evaluation system. As I’ve stated many times before, the manner in which our students are taught/tested and the system for grading our schools is rapidly changing. The Wayne Trace faculty and staff members will continue to work at staying ahead of the curve with the goal of bringing the best education possible to the students of our great school district.
Once again, we anxiously await the upcoming school year and hope that your students are ready to go on August 18. We also hope that you are able to come to our school buildings and enjoy several extra-curricular/co-curricular events offered to the Wayne Trace students each year. Your continued support is much appreciated.
As always, if you have questions or concerns about your child’s educational experience at Wayne Trace, feel free to contact your building principal or superintendent.
Stephen Arnold, Superintendent