A NEW YEAR | News, Sports, Jobs
A buzz filled St. Edmond Catholic School Monday morning. It was the back-to-school buzz for the 600 students and 70 school staff.
“You can just feel the excitement in the building” Principal Tabitha Acree said. “The kids are just thrilled to see all their friends and meet their teacher. “
Teachers are also excited about the new school year, she added.
“Just to hear the laughter and the noise in the hallways – I mean, that’s why we do what we do for our kids,” Acre said.
The school kicked off the school year with a pair of flag raising ceremonies – one for elementary school students and one for middle and high school students – led by National Guards with the local 133rd Test Squadron. After the students recited the Pledge of Allegiance in unison, Reverend Brian Feller blessed the school year to begin.
“I think it’s great that we started with raising the flag and then also blessing our students, staff and parents,” Acre said.
Although Acree is new to the helm of St. Ed’s, she has been director of the Riverside Early Learning Center for the past six years and has noted that the first day of school this year was very different from the first day of school. last year. On the one hand, this year parents were allowed to enter the school building, many accompanying their children to their classrooms before the first bell.
“I think they appreciate that too, because we had new families who came in last year and they had never been to school before,” she said.
Although the situation has improved since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over and the school will take action to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
“It is always our priority because we want to keep the children in school” she said. “This is our goal. Kids learn best in person, so we really want them here.
Students will be allowed to wear a face mask if they wish, but they will not be mandatory. The school also always has a cleaning program to regularly clean high contact areas like doors and ramps throughout the day.
St. Edmond welcomed seven new staff this year, Acree said.
“I had to do an orientation for the new teachers with them and they’re just a good bunch, and they bonded a bit too. “ she said.
One of the new employees, Emily Boutin, came from the state of Maine to teach in St. Edmond.
“We are very happy to have him” Acre said. “This is our new language arts teacher in grade seven.
Boutin graduated from the University of Maine in May and was looking for a teaching position in Catholic schools when she found a position in St. Edmond.
“I had my interview and it went well and when I was offered (the job), I decided to come here”, she said. “I just had a good feeling about it.”
She said she was also looking specifically for an English position in college so this was the perfect fit.
While Boutin may be new to St. Edmond and Fort Dodge, she is not new to teaching. She previously taught English as a Second Language in Taiwan for four years prior to her graduate studies.
Acree is optimistic for the 2021-2022 school year and her first year as principal.
“We are just delighted to be here with our students and look forward to meeting them all. “ she said. “I have a lot of names to learn. One of my goals is to learn the names of all my students.