DuBOIS — With the first week of school in the books, DuBois Area School District administration say the new school year is off to a great start.
“The students in every grade level seem to be adjusting well throughout the entire school district as indicated by the smiles on all of the faces this week,” said Superintendent Luke Lansberry. The first day back to school for the district’s 2018-19 school year was Aug. 28.
Assistant Superintendent Wendy Benton agreed with Lansberry’s assessment.
“Dr. Lansberry and I visited every school on the first day and have made several follow-up visits since,” Benton said. “The feedback from the staff across the district has been incredibly positive. The students are full of energy and ready to embrace the new year.”
Benton said the buildings and grounds have never looked better.
“We can all be extremely proud of the hard work of our maintenance and custodial team. Thanks to the leadership of our head custodians, Marian Douthit and Russ Perks, as well as our Maintenance and Custodial Supervisor, Steve Dunlap, there is an extraordinary sense of teamwork and pride in both departments,” said Benton.
According to Benton, the district leadership team, computer resource department and summer administrative support staff are to be commended for an exceptional job preparing for the successful opening of schools.
“We are fortunate to have strategic visionaries that capitalize on opportunities to make every school year better than the last,” she said.
There has been tremendous support and an increased presence among the School Police Officers to ensure the students have a safe and smooth transition into the new school year, said Benton.
“While in the schools, it is common to see our SPOs interacting with students,” she said. “Just this week, I have observed SPOs helping younger students open milk cartons and peel bananas at lunch, helping middle school students use combination locks and helping high school students locate classrooms. Our SPOs are all about the kids.”
Benton said Director of Transportation Randy Schmidt has invested many long days and countless hours collaborating with the bus contractors to ensure a successful commute to and from school.
“Our drivers have been exceptionally graceful accommodating the unique needs of our students and always pride themselves on safety,” Benton said.
The cafeteria staff have embraced the challenge of new key pads and an online payment system with a positive attitude and have a bright outlook on the new school year, Benton said.
“They have one of the most important responsibilities in our district – providing healthy meals to nourish our students. It’s difficult to focus on learning when you’re hungry,” said Benton.
Fall sports are in full swing thanks to the meticulous planning and leadership of Athletic Director Chuck Ferra and Assistant Athletic Director Andy Edinger.
“Our coaches and student athletes have been training hard on the off-season and pre-season in preparation for a competitive schedule of events,” she said.
Benton said the successful start of the school year can be attributed to a highly effective team that extends far beyond DASD employees.
“We sincerely appreciate the support of our School Board of Directors as well as the DASD community for all of their efforts to make sure the children in our community are ready to learn,” Benton said.
“Everyone is working hard together and they are doing an amazing job,” said Lansberry. “I would like to commend both our maintenance and custodial staff for their hard work over the summer and to our cafeteria staff for preparing the kitchens to serve food to our student body this week. Many people have no idea about the amount of work that goes into preparing for students to return to school. We are proud of everyone and we look forward to a fantastic new school year.”