Teresa George hired as principal, looking to get to know everyone and get test scores up

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The Rising Sun Ohio County School Board hired Teresa George as the new principal at the Ohio County Elementary Middle School during its meeting on Thursday, March 16th.

Superintendent Branden Roeder made the recommendation by the hiring committee after an exhaustive 12 and a hour hours of interviewing.

George is 1977 graduate of Rising Sun High School. The daughter of the late Dale and Kathleen Holland returned to her alma mater last July as a special education teacher at the high school. She had returned home to help take care of her mother, Kathleen Holland, who passed away on July 28th..

The Rising Sun alum is happy to be home after going “all over the world,” moving 26 times in 22 years as a military wife.

She had a late start teaching after getting her bachelors degree from San Diego State University at the age of 35. She received her masters degree in 2004 from Ball State University.

Getting a teaching job wasn’t hard while moving from one military base in another. Her husband Shannon retired in 1998 and she served as assistant principal at Milan for nine years. After their son Kyle graduated, the couple moved to North Carolina where their son has a business.

That is where Teresa gained experience as middle school principal for five years.

“I don’t know what the challenge will be,” as she pondered. “They are always looking forward to raising test scores. I’ve had a lot of experience with that. I was at a high needs school. They were mostly minority. We did a good job of raising test scores. Our science scores went from 40 percent to 81 percent. Our reading scores and math scores went up too. That’s kind of a strength for me, to be able to see where we are and see what we need to do.”

North Carolina testing is known as the Integrated Testing which measured growth and proficiency and is comparable to Indiana’s I-Step+ testing.

When she arrived, students were scoring at 30 percent. Over a three year period, reading scores went up 15 percent, math 18 percent and science 30 percent.

“(Locally)We’re at 80 percent in reading and math so we have to get that other 10 to 15 percent which have to look and see where you’re not making the mark. They’re good kids. We’re not a high poverty school. We should to be able to bring parents in and say look this is where kids need to practice.”

She does remedial algebra class but they need conceptional knowledge and problem solving. They need to teach that early.

The state wants certain skills taught.

She is looking forward to continue to make it (school) a friendly place like Roeder has done this year. “I want to make it a better school

and continue to improve the culture of the building,” she admitted. “I knew every kid in my building. You have to make a point to know who they are and then you’ll get their help.

“I feel good because it’s my hometown. I know a lot of people. Now it’s grandchildren of people I went to school with.”

She will officially start on July1st. However, she plans to get into the building to fill in for Roeder when he attends meetings this spring.

She hopes that there will be a smooth transition to fill her special education teacher position.

Also at the meeting, superintendent Roeder was given permission to post for two new elementary teachers with a possibility of hiring just one.

In other business Caitllin Sauerhage was named high school cross country coach.

OCEMS intercession teachers approved include Barb Smith, Lindsey Merica, Chandra Phillips, Karen Chase, and Jennifer Mossburger, and, if needed,Katherine McMonigle, and Teresa Patz.

Raises were approved for certified personnel including Jack Lillie, Tony VanWinkle, Dorenna Bruegge and Jamie Works.

Austin Armstrong was approved to a volunteer baseball coaching position.

The board accepted the resignation of Ronna Billingsley as cheerleader coach which she has done off and on for 25 years Board president Corey Potts said, “she came in when we were in a pickle. I really do really appreciate her taking that on.”

Roeder reported that the school is working with insurance claim on dugout damage.

Constrcution is planned for a new BioMed classroom which is being converted from an art room. Roeder will be seeking a grant to start work in June.

The next meeting will be moved to Wednesday, April 12th at 6:30 due to a home track meet and workers needed for the meet.