As I reflect over the year, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be part of a school district where the schools are the heart of the community.
It has been great to have so many community members graciously devote their time to enhance the knowledge and well-being of our students. The variety of their involvement has been in the areas of gardening, art, reading with students, mentoring and assisting with play productions.
Our Parent-Teacher Organization makes us feel so appreciated, with all the goodies and resources they so readily supply for the staff and students. All the family activities they planned and carried out through the year were exciting and fun.
There are not enough words to express how grateful we are for the many approved grants and the money supplied to the district through the generosity of the Port Aransas Education Foundation.
The staff at Olsen Elementary is incredible. They have been flexible and very supportive during this leadership transition. I would like to highlight a few of the great things that took place in our classrooms this year.
Our K-2 teachers have begun to implement the balanced literacy approach to reading along with our Response to Intervention (RTI) program and have seen great academic gains in our early readers and writers. Out Gifted and Talented program has begun to take shape with several small projects thanks to Gay de Montel, the classroom teachers, Veronica Harlin and Julie Findley, and parents. In the area of math, our thirdthrough eighth-grade teachers learned and implemented new ways of presenting problem solving strategies and math vocabulary so they are aligned from grade level to grade level.
We will be losing a wonderfully talented teacher next year. Julie Findley is retiring. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work with her and observe her love of teaching. Her special gift is turning kids on to science. Her love for the subject is contagious. I hope she enjoys her retirement and that she will also offer some volunteer time in support of our science program.
Please, keep an eye on the district calendar along with notes coming home, because with the end of the school year near, there are many exciting activities and recognitions coming up that you will not want to miss.
See you on campus!
Pat Nelson is principal at H.G. Olsen Elementary School.