School adds new staffers, preps for new year

by nathan oster

It’s back-to-school time in Big Horn County School District No. 3.

Staff members who hadn’t already done so went back to work this week in preparation for the arrival of students on Tuesday, Aug. 19 — the first of 175 scheduled instruction days on the 2014-15 school calendar.

What’s new?

The list starts with staff changes.

GES begins the year with a new principal, Brett Suiter, as well as a new junior kindergarten teacher in Kaylee Chafee and a new fifth-grade teacher in Jamie Keisel.

The final year of instruction in the current GMS begins with three new staffers in JoEllen Varian (language arts), Klinette Brandon (special education) and Scharen Collingwood (counselor).

Brett Hanlin (English) and Tim Eardley (Spanish) are the new teachers at GHS.

Breakfast time in all three schools is 7:40 a.m.

First bell is at 7:55 a.m. at GMS, 7:56 a.m. at GHS and 8 a.m. at GES. Dismissal times are 2:55 p.m. at GES and 3:18 p.m. at both GHS and GMS. Friday dismissal times are 1:30 p.m. at GES, 1:48 p.m. at GHS and 1:50 p.m. at GMS.

The new school year begins with work underway on the construction of the new middle school, which will be going in the vacant space between the high school and the middle school gym.

Supt. Barry Bryant said it’s going to be a challenging year, from that perspective.

“Parking will be tough during construction, especially for events in the GMS Gym,” he said. “Most of the old pool parking lot will be used as a construction material staging area to include the parking lot on the south side of the GMS Gym (although there may be special times we can park there).

“There will also be times that the high school staff parking area will be closed for short times during steel delivery, hanging and concrete pours.”

One final note: Common Core remains a big issue for the school district. In an attempt to get information out to the public and answer questions, the district is planning a town hall-style meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the GHS auditorium.