Enrollment climbs to 509

by nathan oster

Big Horn County School District No. 3 has gained 18 students since Oct. 1, pushing its total student count to 509 and forcing school administrators to hire extra help of meet the needs of its growing student population.

“We’re a good 15 students over where we’ve been the last three or four years,” said Supt. Barry Bryant, who said the elementary school has seen the biggest gains.  As of Tuesday, the enrollment at GES stood at 217, which included a second grade class bursting at the seams with 46 students. The middle school enrollment was 129 and the high school enrollment 163, both as of Tuesday.

Bryant said he didn’t have an explanation for the growth, but that some of the new students come from families who moved here to work for the railroad.

Erin Michelena, who grew up in the Greybull area and did her student teaching in the district, has been helping at the second-grade level, Bryant said.

Looking ahead to next year, Bryant said the district plans to hire at least one more elementary teacher because it wants to move current fourth-grade teacher Kerri Thiel into the role of an ELL/intervention specialist.