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North Summit back for its 100th year

Alexandria Gonzalez, The Park Record
First-time North Summit High School language arts teacher, Ericca Hawkes, separates her class into small groups Thursday, Aug. 22, to play a game in order for the students to get to know each other. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.
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The hallways of North Summit High School (NSHS) were dim and quiet while students spent their first day back in the classrooms, but inside the front office, secretaries and administrators were bustling around making sure the first day went smoothly.

After what NSHS Principal Russ Hendry called a "short summer," NSHS is back to solidifying the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model they implemented three years ago.

"We did some good things, had some good training sessions and workshops," said Hendry.

This is the third year that NSHS is using the PLC model, which means all teachers at the high school work together when it comes to ensuring that students learn.

"Our endgame is to increase student learning," said Hendry. "It sounds so simple, but we’re not going to get caught up in anything else."

While Hendry admits that it is not what the teachers and administrators are used to, he is confident that it will pay off in terms of student graduation rates.

Hendry sat back in his chair and checked his computer to see exactly how many students will be graduating this year.

"We have 64 students hopefully graduating this year," said Hendry. "We have also gained 12 students, which might not seem like much to big school districts, but that’s a significant jump for us."

The small high school is currently home to approximately 390 students, and school pride is in abundance.

A school assembly was held first thing in the morning, and the cheerleaders, drill team and drum-line all performed for the student body. Hendry said that it was just the right thing to start off the year.

It is not just any new school year for the North Summit School District. This is a significant year, because it is their 100-year anniversary. They will be celebrating the week of Sept. 3 through Sept. 7.

"We’re going to have a huge homecoming this year," said Hendry. "The students and families here are really looking forward to it."

The celebrations will include a Native American presentation at the Ledges, alumni activities, a homecoming parade and football game, and a street festival and Centennial Ball on Saturday.

The short first week of school is just the beginning of what Hendry believes will be an exciting and prosperous school year.

"We’ve got a great school, great kids, and great parents," said Hendry. "We’re just going to stay the course and fortify and strengthen what we’ve got."


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