The dog days of summer are coming to a close. Soon the Staples ad where the parents are singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” will be playing. School is almost ready to start. So, what’s new for the coming school year? I’m glad you asked.
New Computers – we have ordered close to 160 new laptop computers that will be used in mobile labs. These computers are for the upper elementary, sixth grade, MS/HS and the Veritas buildings. They should greatly enhance what the teachers are able to do with technology in their classrooms.
New Carpet – the MS/HS building is just being finished with the installation of new carpet. From the offices to the classrooms, all areas that had carpet have been renovated with new. This has been quite an extensive undertaking as everything in those rooms had to be moved out and back in. I didn’t realize how much “stuff” I had until I had to pack it all up and then unpack it again.
New Kitchen – the FBCIR kitchen underwent an “extreme makeover” this summer. Ceilings to floors were redone. The lighting was upgraded. A new dishwashing system was installed. All of this adds to better efficiency in serving school lunches.
New Lights – the poles for lights on the softball field arrived last week. They should be “planted” soon. The baseball light poles are scheduled to be here around the first of August. So very soon, both our fields will have the ability to host night games. We anticipate this will give more parents the opportunity to come out and more spectators a chance to attend.
New Students – we have had a big influx of new students for the coming year. We have classes filled with a waiting list at Veritas, in the elementary, and in the MS/HS. We currently have interviewed and accepted 157 new students for the coming year and we are not done yet.
New Teachers – a number of new teachers have joined our family over the summer:
Elementary Spanish/MS Spanish/Spanish 3 - Mrs. Lissette Owen will be covering all of the elementary Spanish classes, offering a MS Spanish elective, and will be taking over Spanish 3 in the high school. Lisette had been recently teaching Spanish in the Pinellas County schools. Tom, her husband, is on the pastoral staff at FBCIR. She currently has two children that attend IRCS.
1st Grade – Mrs. Karen Weller will be joining the first grade team. Karen earned her Elementary Education degree from USF and has been a first grade and Title 1 teacher with Pinellas County schools. Hmmm . . . that last name sounds familiar to me . . . Maybe it’s because she has two students in our middle school – Solomon and Chloe.
2nd Grade – Ms. Ashley Marr graduated from Liberty University with her bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Elementary Education Integrated studies. Ashley is an IRCS alum from the class of 2010. Interestingly she will be joining Mrs. Rachael O’Connor who was also in the same IRCS graduating class. Last year Ashley taught Kindergarten in a Wesley Chapel school.
Veritas 2nd Grade – Mrs. Karen Johnson recently moved from Pennsylvania and has been teaching for 25 years: 15 years in MS English and 10 years at the elementary level. Mrs. Johnson’s daughter Tabitha is a 7th grader at IRCS.
Veritas 3rd/4th – Mrs. Erin Toler joins us from Oklahoma and we are excited to have her. Mrs. Toler has been teaching for 15 years, including at the university level. Mrs. Toler has two kids, Ty and Jordan. Ty will be a 2nd grader at Indian Rocks Veritas Academy this coming year.
4th Grade – Mr. Joey Majak will join the fourth grade team. Joey graduated from St. Petersburg College with his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. He brings four years of teaching experience most recently having taught fifth grade.
Veritas 5th/6th – Mrs. Amy Scherb has been a teacher for 10 years and is excited to join the IRVA staff. Mrs. Scherb has a daughter, Sierra, who will be a junior at IRCS and a son, Sebby, who will be a 5th grader at Indian Rocks Veritas Academy.
Elementary/MS/HS Band – Mr. Tyler Bauer will be taking over the reins as our band director this year. Tyler was able to student teach at IRCS last Spring so the band students already know him. He is also an IRCS grad from the class of 2010 and recently graduated from Clearwater Christian College.
6th Grade Language Arts – Mrs. Gail Busjahn will be joining the 6th grade team. Gail has two Master’s degrees and previously taught at IRCS for 13 years before taking a year off. We’re glad she’s back.
7th Grade English / Social Studies – Mrs. Katherine Baquero will be teaching 7th grade students in this newly created position that allowed us to add a fourth section of 8th grade. She is an FSU graduate who has taught English at Osceola Middle School for the past seven years.
7th Grade Math / Algebra 1 – Ms. Lynn Hinrichs will be joining our math department. In an effort to reduce class sizes in math, a rearrangement of the schedule produced this position. Lynn has been a long time church member that recently graduated from St. Petersburg College.
World History/Economics – Florida State grad, Mr. Kyle Ridgeway, will be rounding out our Social Studies department for the coming year. Kyle most recently served as the Associate Director of Christian Campus Fellowship at FSU.
Digital Arts – Joining the Digital Arts department will be Mr. Jacob Coonfare. Jacob has been an intern with the high school department at FBCIR and recently graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He will be sharing duties with Charlie Hall.
10th/12th English – Parent, Ms. Carrie Rivera, will be moving from her position at St. Petersburg Christian School to join the IRCS family. Her previous experience at both the MS and HS levels give her a great perspective of what is necessary to be successful in English.