TCNES focusing on teacher growth

By Kelsey Kimbler -

LEWISBURG — Tri-County North Elementary School is focusing on teachers by creating Professional Growth Plans.

During the TCN Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 15, Principal Joe Finkbine shared he has been meeting with every teacher to discuss their goals for the year.

“The teachers set up individual Growth Plans and as we sit down and talked, the administrative team really wanted to focus on at least one goal. So we sat down with each teacher. One of the things we really emphasize is the follow-up piece. We want to meet with teachers and have it not be a one-time thing,” Finkbine said. “We want to continue to bring that back up. The teachers did a really nice job coming up with some really good goals they were going to work on to make themselves better. The staff has really done a nice job. I met with one teacher who has been teaching for over 30 years, really transformed her classroom into a truly differentiated class, where kids will be able to work at different levels all the time.”

“We saw great results from her and the student’s work last year with our state assessments,” he said. “We really felt like that was a major accomplishment, because she has been teaching all these years and was able to really transform her classroom with the help of our instructional coaches and our gifted teacher. Teachers are really working hard at not just being content. We have several teachers really taking on some rigorous goals that they set for themselves.”

The popular elementary “Donuts with Dads” event was held again. Finkbine ordered 14 dozen donuts and the turnout was so good they ran out and had to get a few dads toaster pastries from the kitchen instead, he said. After the breakfast with their children, dads had an opportunity to sign up for the Watch Dog program.

In the future, TCNES will seek to include the mothers of the district with “Muffins with Moms.” There will be no program for the moms to sign up for, but they will have the opportunity to come in and eat breakfast with their sons and daughters. The first ever Muffins with Moms will be held on Nov. 14.

Tri-County North Middle School recently collaborated with an Eaton High School student to raise awareness of needs across the world.

Principal Hoe Hoelzle shared, he was contacted by this student as part of her Girl Scout project. She wanted to speak to students about the privilege of living in the United States and educate these kids on experiences in other parts of the world.

“She is passionate about helping out third world countries and the education of third world countries. She came and spoke to our fifth and sixth grade girls about, number one, what a privilege it is to live in the United State and some of you may not like going to school, but how would it feel if you were not able to go to school,” he said. “She talked about Haiti and some African countries where girls cannot go to school after the age of 10. So, she was raising some cultural awareness, but also showing them what a privilege it is to have a good school system. She talked to them about appreciating what we have and building each other up, but she also had them write a letter to a girl in Haiti.”

“She is also doing some other projects and invited them to help send a care package to girls in a third world county,” Finkbine continued. “It was just a good thing to do for fifth and sixth grade girls and I was happy to help a girl from another high school with her Girl Scout project.”

In other business, it was reported the district has received a safety grant from the Attorney General’s office. TCN received $4,500 to provide training and resources for the School Resource Officer and Mental Health Therapist.

The next regular Tri-County North Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the TCN High School Lecture Room.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH