Southside schools introduce themselves to incoming students
Donegan and Fountain Hill elementary schools hosted the first-ever Southside Stride Aug 9. The event, which began with a walk in which faculty members greeted new kindergarteners at their homes and continued with a literacy and snack event at two local parks, was the brainchild of the principals and community school coordinators at each school. Courtney Wertman-Stambaugh of Fountain Hill ES explains, “Paige [Hoffman, FHE Community School Coordinator] and I were thinking, ‘How can we get the community together and introduce the new principals?’ We borrowed Freedom’s idea of meeting incoming freshmen, and decided to marry it with an event at the parks, and tie it in to the district’s [Reading by Grade Three] literacy goal.”
New Donegan ES principal Erin Martin-Medina and Wertman-Stambaugh worked together at Roosevelt ES in Allentown, where Martin-Medina was principal and Wertman-Stambaugh was assistant principal. “We’ve always dreamed about working in parallel,” Wertman-Stambaugh says.
Roughly 60 students are currently registered for kindergarten at Fountain Hill ES; 41 of their homes received visits from teams of teachers and administrators, before they joined BASD assistant superintendent Dr. Jack Silva, Broughal assistant principal Nancy Zoudeh, and other community members at Stanley Avenue Playground for popsicles, popcorn, playing, and of course, reading. Donegan kindergarten families took part in a similar event at Yosko Park (Page A15).
Fountain Hill ES assistant principal Jose Sanchez did double duty by donning the costume of mascot “Fountain Hill Phil,” a larger-than-life tiger, to greet families at the park. Fountain Hill staff enjoyed a post-event lunch at Matey’s, and Donegan teachers convened [WHERE?] for their staff lunch.