Fewer changes for new school year

The start of the school year in Granville will be unique in some respects in 2011 as relatively little will change (for a change).

Major additions have been completed for the three buildings in the school district from Mary J. Tanner to Granville Elementary School to the junior senior high school.

The gymnasium floor is in one piece – and flat.

The biggest changes are once again on the personnel front.

Welcoming students for the first time will be interim high school Principal James Donnelly along with Assistant Principal Dan Poucher.

Donnelly was named as interim principal after former principal Scott Bojanich announced his departure at the end of the previous school year.

Donnelly is under contract for the upcoming school year, but has the option, district officials said, to throw his hat in the ring for the high school principal job. “I’m excited to be here; everyone has been really warm and welcoming,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly said he hopes to add a few new exciting wrinkles to the school year. “We’ll be kicking off the year with a focus on learning and student achievement,” Donnelly said. More details can be expected to follow the start of the school year, he said.  

“I think Granville is really in a position to do great things as a school; I’m encouraged by what I see and looking forward to working with all of the students,” he said.

Special Education Director Diane Quick will take the reins for the first few days of the year at Granville Elementary while Principal Diane Dumas is out of the country visiting her son who is stationed in Germany, school officials said.

Little happened at GES with the EXCEL project completed so the disruption has been nonexistent unlike previous years when the summer months were full of frantic construction.

“The building is beautiful; the staff has done a great job getting it ready and the teachers have been in already getting their classrooms ready. We’re all excited to welcome the kids back for another successful school year,” Quick said.

The only member of the staff who is new is a familiar name. Former school board member Tamme Taran joins the school as the school nurse. Three employees have been reassigned to the elementary school with special education teacher Kara Coe and teaching assistants Kathy LaRose and Sue Waite moving to the school. Parent informational night will be Sept. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. “It’s a lot of information parents want to know,” Quick said.  

Over in Middle Granville at the Mary J. Tanner School, Principal Kristie Gijanto said the building received no modifications over the summer, so returning students will find the school much as they left it.

“We’re looking forward to seeing all of the children and their families on the first day of school,” Gijanto said.

The first day of school at the primary school building is an event that sees a huge turnout each year as parents of first year students come out to the school to meet their kids after what it often their first school bus ride.

Parents are advised to come a bit early to meet the buses on Sept. 6 as parking is typically difficult to find with so many parents at the school at one time.

Gijanto said teachers will be on the bus ramp as well to help new students find their way to their teachers and classrooms.

Today on Sept. 1, parents and students entering Pre-K and kindergarten are invited to Mary J. Tanner for an orientation session from 2 to 3 p.m.

“It allows the students and the parents to meet their teacher and get familiar with their classroom so they can be more confident and more comfortable on the first day of school,” Gijanto said.

Gijanto recommends parents take the time to label easily confused item such as lunch boxes and clothing to help teachers sort it out at the end of the day. “That’s always a good thing,” she said.

New to the building will be school nurse Pamela Helinski who replaced a retiree. New in the building, but not new to the district, will be Barbara Byrtus a special education teacher and speech therapist Charlene Thomas, each transferring from the high school.

On the first day of school buses will arrive at Mary J. Tanner at 8:55 a.m.

Gijanto said the school days will run from 9:05 to 3:15 and the school offers breakfast and lunch, available in free or reduced cost for families who qualify.

On Sept. 13 the parent information session will take place from 6-8 p.m. 






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