School is cool at Sugar Grove Elementary.
The school is going to close in about two-and-a-half years and the students and staff want to go out with a bang.
"We think we're pretty darn cool," Principal Marcia Madigan said.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Staying cool under the bright lights
Warren County School District art teacher Jessica Shoemaker takes video of Sugar Grove Elementary School fifth-graders Trystan Sandak and Lily Darling going on the air with their daily morning broadcast. Shoemaker is compiling video to submit to the WICU 12News “How Cool is Your School?” contest and the tradition of the live broadcast is just one of the things that makes Sugar Grove cool.
So, art teacher Jessica Shoemaker is making a video to submit to the WICU 12News "How Cool is Your School?" contest.
Sugar Grove will not be the only district building featured in a video for the program. Youngsville Elementary Middle School plans to try to repeat as one of the four schools chosen to be featured in the program and host a special broadcast of 12 News Today.
"It provides buildings a chance to showcase the things that they do for their students," Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Learning Amanda Hetrick said. "An ongoing benefit is that schools have a nice two minute promotional video that they can use to promote their programming and student activities."
"Doing the video helps to build a sense of pride in the school and allows students to recognize and focus upon the things that they do love about their school," she said.
There are also educational benefits. "It allows teachers to help students understand video editing, creating persuasive promotional materials, and do some work to analyze the role of advertising in society," Hetrick said.
Shoemaker has captured images of student class work and art work inside and outside the building, the morning reading program, the daily announcements broadcast, interviews with students about what makes Sugar Grove cool, and teacher interviews on subjects including the value of the Concerned Parent Teacher (CPT) group.
With so much material, Shoemaker is expecting to have to do a lot of editing to craft a two-minute video presentation for the contest.
Four interviews captured Thursday of fifth-graders would take up more than the time limit.
"Sugar Grove is cool because of all of the events that we get to do... Spring Fling, the Ice Cream Social, Winterfest, and the dances," Aubrey Younger said.
"I love it," Michelle Kingsley said. "Every single teacher I've ever had, I've loved them. They've provided everything I've needed."
The location of the school feature in some of the interviews. "It's out in the rural area," Alex Roberts said. "We're not always hearing cars and buses go by distracting us."
"Sugar Grove is cool because of all these wonderful teachers," Ashley Hall said. "All of the stuff that CPT does for us is awesome."
There is a Smartboard in fifth-grade teacher Tammy Head's classroom. It is used daily and students are enthusiastic about it, saying, "It's cool," and "It's a fun thing for school."
"Without the support from the community, we wouldn't have such wonderful things as this," Head said on camera.
The building was dedicated Sept. 7, 1963. During the recent open house, teachers and community members brought in memorabilia from over the years, giving the young people and those who are new to the community a sense of the history of the school and providing those who have been around for a while a trip down memory lane.
Madigan said the staff is already working on smoothing out the transition as the school closes at the end of the 2014-2015 school year and all students in the northern attendance area attend the renovated Eisenhower K-12 school.
"We're trying to make it easier," she said.
Despite the scheduled closure, the students and staff want people to know their school is cool.