New teachers, technology, curriculum for HHSPublished 4:43pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Lines of parents and students cascaded down the oversized staircases at Hartselle High School Wednesday and Thursday as high schoolers came to pick up their schedules.
Students were able to pay fees, secure lockers, pick up parking tags, buy yearbooks, review their schedules and find their new classrooms.
The third annual Freshman Camp was Friday, which allowed upcoming freshmen to visit with their teachers and walk through their new high school schedule. This orientation helps ease the transition into the new school with its different guidelines, expectations and environment.
The incoming freshmen are not the only new part of the upcoming school year. Hartselle has a few changes including a new assistant principal, new curriculum and an online payment system.
Former Danville High School principal Pat Smith is replacing Joe Weaver as assistant principal, who retired earlier this summer. He was helping assign parking passes at the freshman schedule pick-up Thursday.
Smith said the transition so far has been quite successful.
“So far Mr. Hyche and Coach Young and I have been a good team,” Smith said. “We communicate well and are all on the same page administratively. I have already spoken with Coach Young about consistency. We want to make sure that our ideas are consistent so we can be fair.”
Smith said he worked in the Hartselle City School System during his first four years of teaching. He said he decided to come back to Hartselle after 11 years in Danville because of his family.
“My wife was teaching in the Hartselle system, and my daughter is already going to Hartselle,” Smith said. “This was a door that God opened, and I am very thankful for. I loved my job at Danville, but Hartselle is a great school, and it is a better opportunity for my family. I can watch my daughter grow up here and make sure I am involved in her education.”
Hartselle’s newest addition said he is looking forward to contributing to Hartselle’s continued success.
“The parents and community are so involved in this school system, which is very important for a system’s success,” Smith said. “It has such great participation, and the expectations are very high here. I’m a competitive person, and they expect me to pour my heart into what I’m doing. That’s what I love about it here.”
Principal Jeff Hyche said Hartselle will be implementing a few new additions to the current curriculum. The biggest difference will be Career Academy elective classes that expose students to a number of career options. Career Academy will offer courses in engineering, information technology, fine arts, education, marketing, agriculture and healthcare professions. Students can begin taking these electives as soon as freshman year and earn special recognition for completing four years of these courses.
New teachers have been added to Hartselle’s staff, including Buckey Garner, Shannon Hopkins, Nick Collier and Faron Key.
An online payment system for yearly fees and other payments should be available during the upcoming school year. Nannette Miller, Hartselle High School bookkeeper, said the system has already working in test cases.
“We have had a few test subjects successfully pay online,” Miller said. “This semester we should have people using the system regularly for not only fees but also T-shirts or tickets or anything they need. Users can access the account through myschoolfees.com with a student ID number and login information.”
Hyche said he is looking forward to a school year that continues to expound upon Hartselle’s strengths.
“We are looking to continue to grow and expand the good things we are doing,” Hyche said. “We need to continue to think like champions whether that’s on the field or in the classroom. We need to keep the quality going.”