New Teacher Orientation

A new teacher orientation hosted by the Nacogdoches Independent School District kicks off the school year. Yet the hiring of 80 classroom teachers, principals and support staff began way back in April.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, G.W. Neal said, "Of the 80 we have hired I'm going to say we have about 15% that are beginning teachers. Others are experienced. We are very fortunate with the experienced teachers we have coming."

Dennis Williams is one of three principals hired. The former assistant principal comes from Marshall. He's assured the transition to McMichael Middle School will go well. "I believe leadership and confidence start at the top and just filters down through the kids. Kids don't realize , as well as a lot of adults what the potentials are and basically what we want to do. We want every kid to be the very best," said Williams.

English teacher Peggy Thompson can skip the orientation. "This my sixth year here with Nacogdoches ISD." But her planning will help the transition back to school for new students and teachers easier. Her advice is, "Be very flexible, accept a great deal of challenge and do the best you can."

This suggestion may be useful following the release of the Performance Review by the Legislative Budget Board. Many of the new NISD employees know about the performance review. Those we spoke to say they're not influenced by some of its more negative findings.

Williams said, "Sure, I've read it and there's always improvements. Any time you stop improving than you stop growing." Thompson said the report won't break her morale. "Can't touch me, no way. I plan to do what I feel is best for the children and the learning environment."

Administrators hope a a big new addition at the high school is best for the kids. It's the new 9th grade center and competition gym. About 600 freshmen will attend most of their classes in the wing. Teachers say each room is going to be ready for the first day of school. There are several new science labs. This is the latest bond supported project that's now complete.

Freshman orientation or 'FISH' camp will be held in the new gym Friday morning at eight. Buses will run at 6:30 a.m. Friday morning to pick students up for FISH camp. Stops will be made at the following locations: Mailboxes at Sandyland Trailer Park * Rodessa and Paluxy streets * Oak Hill Plaza * Old Tyler Road and Cotton Street * Briargrove and East Austin Street * Commonwealth Apartments * Lane Drive Trailer Park * Faye and Evelyn Streets * Fred and Susan Streets * Ponderosa and 31st Street * Briar Forest Street * Phoenix Terrance/Santa Fe Place * Summit Apartments

Then on Saturday afternoon from 1-4 the 9th grade center's ribbon cutting will be held. Special guest is Education Commissioner Dr. Shirley Neeley.

And the most important date of all. The first day of school in Nacogdoches is August 15th.