Moore named permanent principal for 2017-18 school year

Superintendent Hamm’s district contract extended through 2019

Interim principal Lisa Moore was voted to be the permanent principal by the Newton Public School Board for the 2017-18 school year on Feb. 13. Prior to the meeting, Moore was uncertain whether she would retain the position as principal.

“There’s always worry. You don’t know what other candidates will bring to the table, what experience they have, how they would interact with our staff, and what new ideas would they bring. I could only go in with my best skills,” Moore said.

As interim principal, one of Moore’s goals was creating a school-wide focus on ‘Railer Pride’ throughout the building and school district. Next year, she said it will still be a theme, but possibly without the exact phrase ‘Railer Pride.’

“What I tell everybody is that this is your school. You should be proud of where you are. I tell students that when they throw trash on the floor or spit on the walls; it’s their school and they need to establish a sense of pride where they go to school and be proud of Newton High School. It’s your school, and I can only hope to instill in you that ‘Railer Pride,’” Moore said.

By continuing the staff-inspired idea of monthly seminar projects to keep up with maintenance of the school, Moore said the idea of pride throughout the building will be supported.

“Years ago, we had the senior exit portfolios and students had to do community service hours. Those went by the wayside. So teachers, when I interviewed them last summer, wanted students to have some sort of project where they had pride in the building. We did that by having the teachers and students come up with areas they want to be responsible for,” Moore said.

Additionally, next school year Moore and the administration have created a new bell schedule to help prevent loss of instructional time due to extracurricular activities such as sports and academic competitions.

“If we start school at 8:00 that’s going to impact students by having an earlier start time. It will also impact students in zero hour. You know the other thing about it is that we have what’s called a loss of instruction time due to students missing school for extra curriculars, for whatever reason we have a loss of instruction time. By students and also by teachers because teachers are coaches,” Moore said “So if we move to a schedule where we have seventh hour everyday and we have seminar everyday, we won’t have as much of a loss of instruction time. Students would only be missing seminar or seventh period, but school would end at 3:05 instead of 3:30. 25 minutes at a time adds up.”

In addition to Moore retaining the principal position, superintendent Dr. Deborah Hamm was given a contract extension to continue her leadership for an additional school year.

“My contract was set to expire on June 30, 2018. I have a two year contract. The Board extended my contract for one year to expire on June 30, 2019. I am very appreciative of the board’s confidence in the work that we are doing in the district and excited to continue my work in a district that I love,” Hamm said.

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