When school starts next week, students at Lawrence County High School and Fallsburg Elementary School will be greeted by new principals.
Both seasoned educators, one principal is a familiar face while the other is new to the district entirely.
Christy Moore was named principal at LCHS earlier this month. A native of Lawrence County and a 1992 graduate of LCHS, Moore began teaching math at her alma mater in 1999. She taught at the high school for several years, then at Fallsburg before becoming an assistant principal at LCHS in 2011.
Her husband, James Moore, a Lieutenant with the Lexington Fire Department, is also a LCHS graduate. The couple have two children, Allyson, 11, and Joey, 9.
Fallsburg’s new principal is Angela Holmes. She officially started working for the district Thursday, although she’s been “donating workdays” for much of the last month.
Holmes is a native Ohioan, having grown up just outside Circleville, and is in the process of moving to Lawrence County from Wheelersburg, Ohio, along with her 12-year-old son, Alex.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Shawnee State University and her master’s from Ohio University. She began her career teaching kindergarten through second grade, eventually teaching fifth grade and served as a district wide reading coordinator, before she moved into administration. For the last eight years, Holmes was the principal at Wheelersburg Elementary School and prior to that served as principal for several years in the Portsmouth City school district.
Both women are eagerly anticipating next week’s start and share many of the same goals for their respective schools. Key among them is to make sure students leave the school system “college and career ready” and with the skills to become “lifelong learners,” both women said.
“I want to make sure that kids are proud to say I graduated from Lawrence County,” said Moore. “I want my kids to come here and get a good education and graduate from here and love it here as much as I did,” she added.
“We should be proud of our school. We are making gains, and we are coming along. We’re right there. We are at the verge of becoming a great school,” said Moore.
Moore said she plans to continue Lawrence’s recent progress, raising test scores on ACTs, as well as in math and reading. In the past, Lawrence County has struggled in these areas, but has been steadily improving, said Moore. “We need to make sure we keep it going that direction,” she said.
Among her other goals are better communication between the students, staff, parents and the community. The school will also start some co-teaching initiatives this year, said Moore, “There are a lot of good things happening, to make our school better.”
Holmes is brimming with excitement to start the new year too. Although she already met many of her 400 plus new students at last week’s ReadyFest, she’s looking forward to meeting the remainder next week when classes commence.
By Christmas, she plans to know the name of every student from pre-schoolers through eighth grade. “Relationships are very important to me,” said Holmes, “I try to form those relationships where when they need a person at school that they can go to, they have the teachers, I can be that extra person.”
“I’m excited to just get started and to get the kids in there,” said Holmes. “My goal has always been to make the seven hours a day we get them the best seven hours that we can give them. Hopefully it is going to be a great year and a great place for those kids to be.”
She added, “Fallsburg has a tradition of being a really great school with caring staff. They already have that climate going. We just need to maintain it,” said Holmes. “I really just want them to feel welcome and safe and feel that (school) is this wonderful, happy place to be,” she said.
Holmes said the school will also focus on boosting math scores, which is a district-wide goal.
Being new at school and in town is exciting for Holmes and her son, who will attend Fallsburg. “Lawrence County is a wonderful place with wonderful people. The outpouring of kindness to me has been overwhelming,” said Holmes. “I’m excited about all of it. It’s a grand new adventure in my life, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a good one.”
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.