TAYLOR COUNTY—Students and parents will see many new additions and changes for the upcoming school year.
Melissa Lampinen will be a new face at Flemington Elementary School (FES) for the upcoming school year.
Lampinen was hired as the new Principal in June, and shared she is excited to meet the community.
“Parents and community are the key to the success of the school,” she expressed. “We plan on continuing the tradition of family and community in the school.”
Lampinen disclosed that she has been in education for 27 years, most recently she was the Literacy Specialist at Lewis County Schools.
For four years, she was a Regional School Support Specialist for School Improvement
RESA VII, and through her position, she worked with the Taylor County Board of Education.
“Working with them was the absolute best experience,” she commented. “I knew when I saw the position for a new principal that I would love being here. They are amazing to work with.”
When asked what her greatest educational achievement is, she shared receiving the National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) certification in 2006 and 2016.
The NBCT is recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, and the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.
On a personal note, she is married to Scott Lampinen and they have five children and one granddaughter. She noted that they enjoy spending time together.
“Education is my greatest passion,” she expressed. “I am always working on new ideas and love what I do.”
Lampinen shared that over the summer, the school has been busy preparing for the upcoming year, from cleaning and technology updates to new flooring in the main hallway and cafeteria.
“We have many new plans and some new policies for the upcoming school year,” she added. “I encourage families to attend the open house nights to hear important information about drop off and pick up, as well.”
The open house for grades second, third and fourth will be held on Thursday, August 23, from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, August 29, from 5:00-6:30 p.m., parents of students in grades pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first will be able to come to school.
Speaking of new additions, many may remember or maybe have seen the new addition at West Taylor Elementary School.
Last year, ground broke for the new addition to the growing school. Over the last few months, the vison became a reality and three classrooms were added, along with a restroom.
The addition was made possible through money granted from the School Building Authority (SBA), in the amount of $859,682, with additional local funds to be contributed to the project in the amount of $300,000 for a project total of $1,159,682.
On Monday, Doug Gregory, Assistant State Fire Marshal was at the school to sign off on the work that was completed by City Construction.
Project Manager Jason McQuain shared that it has been a pleasure working with the Taylor County Board of Education and Principal Jamison Fisher.
“The design for the project was great,” he added. “I have two sons that attend the school. I am proud that I got the do this project for them and the community.”
Fisher shared that working with City Construction has been a wonderful experience.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” she expressed. “They are so polite, hardworking and very respectful of the school and the staff.”
She commented that they are very excited for the upcoming school year, and for the students to see the new classrooms.
In addition, she disclosed that the construction company will also be working on another project for the school.
“We are going to add some additional parking at the school,” revealed Fisher. “There will be approximately 22 new parking spaces and two new pole lights, to help accommodate the growing school.”
Another SBA project that is coming to close is the heating and cooling system renovation at the Taylor County Middle School.
The project involved replacing almost all of the ceilings in the school, as well as replacing the water source heat pumps, the roof mounted energy recovery ventilators, the boilers and pumps and the cooling tower.
According to updates from Assistant Superintendent Pam Gallaher, throughout the renovation there were some setbacks, but the project is coming to close.
If you have driven by the Grafton High School, you may have noticed a new addition outside the school at the intersection of Sam Bord Drive and Yates Ave.
At a recent Board of Education meeting, Principal Lori Shumaker shared that the sign will help the school communicate with the community, advertising special events and announcements.
“We are very happy to have the new sign outside the school to help keep the community and parents informed,” said Shumaker. “We have wanted a sign outside the school for some time now. It will make a nice addition to school.”
Over the summer, Anna Jarvis Elementary School was also busy preparing for students. Organization and volunteers helped with the construction of a platform on the Outdoor Wildlife Learning Sites (OWLs) trail, that will be used by students in the upcoming school year.
Principal Heather Gunderson also shared that another project going on is the Parent Teacher Organization giving the art room a total makeover. She shared they are hoping to have it finished by the start of school.
The school also held professional development workshops over the summer. Teachers throughout the county met at the school to share plans and learn about upcoming curriculum.
In addition, to all of the projects at the schools, janitors have been busy over the summer painting and cleaning. Teachers returned to their classrooms on Thursday, to get ready for students next Wednesday.