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The Cat Spot

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“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle was on to something with this profound, ancient statement.

With school now in full swing for the 2022-2023 school year for about three weeks now, routines are being set in order to educate, inspire, and enlighten the future generation. The backbone of this critical task is the staff behind each building.

Here at Fredericktown Alternative School, our team started off in full swing and we are still going strong.

In the Elementary classroom with Mrs. Comnick and Mrs. Hamilton, our younger students were engrossed in taking key components of our lives, such as fashion, telephones, music/music players, and cameras through physical examples fellow staff brought to compare, reflection journals, and interactive videos.

Seeing the evolution of everyday technologies and clothes shows how the world grows. But, wait, there’s more.

Last Fun Friday, the kids split into duos and created their own business to represent goods and services: making original artwork (the good) and hanging the purchased art piece they made on their own (the service). All our kind-hearted staff members in the school played the customers with pretend money. Their company even had aprons. Seeing our young dreamers' smiles as they learned responsibility and the entailing of working a job was apparent.

Mrs. Sutton and Mrs. Hinkle have the fun facts for math facts. Students figured out the relation between numbers by using math facts charts they created, modeling them on the whiteboard for their peers to see. The dedication and pride in their work and helping each other in their number learning was tangible. Rock on, Intermediate Class.

Middle school has been shaking things up with their creativity. In math, Mrs. Jones and Miss Settle had students find instructions for making a math problem in the hall, tasking the young math magicians to find a way to create an equation where the answer was their age.

Coach B. and Mr. Keller next door in social studies were uniting their classes in an interactive game that aided students to be able to identify all fifty of our proud states on a map.

The teachers also have been expressively reading a class book out loud to their students to get them absorbed into a story, the goal is for them to become not only life-long readers but life-long learners. It is a wonderful sight.

Our high school teachers have been jamming out to the melody of education as well but in subtle, impactful moments. Coach Koester explaining how to solve a math problem with encouragement in his Math Resource and Study Skills class as the student is grateful for his guidance. Mr. B having his class watch “Pawn Stars” before lunch and having them see an important Founding Fathers document someone brought in as they learned of its significance. Mr. Sauer making sure each young person is on track with an upbeat smile on his face. Mrs. Hampton taking the time during free time to go over a student’s letter inquiring about a job to make sure it sounds professional and polite.

These were moments this writer happened to catch but is aware there are several other meaningful actions and interactions our higher education teachers have daily. All these excellent educators are steering kids in the right direction in life while still letting them march to the beat of their own drums.

The energies are high and warm no matter who you turn to at the FALC campus. Mrs. Donna and Mrs. Billi run our offices like clockwork and with kindness. Mr. Dunivan checks on every person each day, adult and kid, with a positive tone. Mr. Cureton provides our Homebound program with efficiency and flare. Mr. McFadden runs around the gym during dodgeball, making even our smallest, skittish child beam and try to play for the first time in P.E. Mrs. Redmond greets the students each morning with a smile before she pours over her process coordinator’s tasks of making sure each child has what they need. Mr. Dustin makes our rooms clean and proud. Our bus drivers transport our students safely. Our lunch staff festively decorates our lunch serving room, eager to provide our kids with nourishing food they ask about all day. This well-oiled machine is a work of masterful art.

We are an orchestra of energy. A collective of sounds and talents. All are great alone, but together, we are empowering and cannot be stopped. Why? Because we want to teach and because we have to teach. For our kids, the hearts of our community, and our future. We will educate all our Blackcats with heart in our own mighty voices, full of zeal, and there is no slowing us down. Aristotle would be proud.

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