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SES plans on another A+ year

SES principal Betty Older said the main thing to keep the momentum of last year’s school year is student and teacher motivation.

“We want to try and keep everybody motivated,” Older said. “We want to keep all the students engaged and learning. I think by providing new opportunities for our students is another way to do that.”

The elementary school recently developed a digital classroom with virtual reality headsets.

“By having that, we get to expose the children to something that they might not have seen,” Older said. “Sometimes we struggle to find bus drivers to take our children on field trips, so we came up with the creative idea to bring all of that to the school through virtual reality. We have 30 VR headsets, along with all of the software and everything that goes with it.”

Older said if children love to learn, then they will perform on any test that is given to them.

“They will perform, and they will meet your expectations,” Older said. “And we do have high expectations for our students, as well as our faculty and staff, here at Straughn.”

While Summer is usually a break for teachers, administration at SES were hard at work renovating their records room.

“We did a lot of renovations,” Older said. “We have never really had a records room. So, we basically consolidated every record and put it in fireproof safety file cabinets. We keep all of the records from every student that has ever gone through Straughn. It is now very organized. We also made improvements on our playgrounds, which I think is important for students. There were also renovations to some of the boy’s bathrooms. We are just trying to maintain everything here at SES and I think it shows a lot of Straughn pride when we see teachers here in the summer taking care of their hallway.”

Older said one of the main things she is excited for this year is to see the kids.

“During the summer, I really miss the kids,” Older said. “It is all about seeing the students coming back. It’s all about working with the students and seeing their progress throughout the year. That, to me, is the most exciting part about a new school year. We start off fresh, the students are coming to us excited and we want to maintain that momentum and excitement day after day. We only have them 177 days a year. So, we have to pour a whole lot of learning into a child during those days.”

When Older thinks about the things that really mean the most to her about the school year, she thinks about the kids.

“Strip all of the other stuff away, and it is about the kids,” Older said. “It’s about seeing them grow. That is why we are here. We love them.”