by nathan oster
David Bowie sang about “ch-ch-ch-changes” in the early ’70s, but that blast from the past might be the one that best sums up the start of another school year in present-day Big Horn County School District No. 3.
Greybull schools have certainly undergone some “ch-ch-ch-changes” since students left in May. It starts at the top, where Michael McClaren has replaced Barry Bryant as superintendent of schools.
He penned the following statement last week:
“It’s hard to believe it is August already, when school bells toll the start of a new school year. For parents-guardians it means it is time to set order back into the household when the evening routine revolves around the phrase, ‘It is a school night.’ Students are excited and anxious to reconnect with their friends. For the Class of 2019, it is the finishing stretch of their K-12 academic journey with serious choices upon graduation … taking a job, getting technical training, going to college or all the above.
“The start of a new school year is filled with excitement and anticipation of new challenges for both students and faculty. Greybull Elementary and Middle schools will have new principals at their respective helms this year. Casey Bowe will head-up Greybull Elementary School and Betsy Sammons will lead Greybull Middle School. I am looking forward to working with them along with veteran Greybull High School principal, Ty Flock.
“It will be my privilege to serve (the district) in the capacity of superintendent this school year. I look forward to a stellar year packed with outstanding student accomplishments. Remember, educating everyone takes EVERYONE.'”
McClaren provided additional insights on Tuesday, noting that new teachers were in place, returning teachers were expected Wednesday and that a faculty gathering is planned for Monday.
The first day of school is Tuesday, Aug. 21.
In addition to Sammons, the district is welcoming the following new teachers:
- Jennifer Schultz, who is teaching ag;
- Eli Moody, elementary physical education;
- Logan Burningham, middle school physical education;
- Jonathan Cauffman, middle school math, and
- Jeanette Ohman, special education director.
And nowhere is change more in the air than at GES, where every teacher has a new classroom assignment this year.
From a facilities standpoint, the district razed the former A-Maverik Motel and Buffalo Rose properties to create additional parking for the middle and high school campuses. The buildings are gone and the lots have been graveled and are ready for use. McClaren said the goal is to eventually pave the lots, although it might not happen for a few years. “Gravel is what we could do now,” he said.
McClaren said visitors to the campus will notice some parking changes. For one thing, motorists on Railroad can no turn east to access the parking spots on the south end of the Buff Gym. They must be accessed from the east, using the entrance between GHS and the Quigg Building.
Then there’s the new ag program. After several years of collaborating with Basin schools on ag, the district is venturing out on its own this year, under the leadership of Schultz. McClaren said it’ll be a full-go this fall, adding that the curriculum isn’t just for high schoolers, but also middle schoolers.