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New Principal Shares Updates, Enthusiasm with Mavericks

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to you for the first time to provide updates from Marvin Ridge High School. I made the transition to serve as the principal of MRHS in mid-June, having been the principal of Rea View Elementary since 2007. The coming school year will be my fourteenth year as a principal and twenty-second year as an educator with Union County Public Schools.

The opportunity to serve and lead at Marvin Ridge is uniquely special for me as my husband was the founding principal and served in that role from 2006 to 2012. Our youngest son graduated from Marvin Ridge in 2013. Through this family involvement and my work within the cluster at Rea View, I have a full appreciation for the outstanding results that have been achieved within the academic, artistic, athletic and extracurricular offerings of the school. I look forward to working alongside the students, staff, and families to build on this tradition of excellence going forward.

When I was named to the position in June, one of the first things that I learned was that each of the counselors at Marvin Ridge had other professional plans for the 2014-2015 school year. Working to staff the counseling department with outstanding professionals has been an important focus, and I am pleased to announce that Ann Ennis, Lori Sgan, and Lisa Stipp have been selected to serve as our guidance counselors.  Jessica Pierce will also serve as a counselor at Marvin Ridge, working to provide support to the student body and overall work of the Guidance Department.  I am confident that they will provide wonderful support and expertise for our students and families. More information about each of them is provided in a feature story posted on our website.

Counselor assignments to students will be as follows:
Students with last names A-G: Lori Sgan
Students with last names H-O: Lisa Stipp
Students with last names P-Z: Ann Ennis 

In addition to the work that we have done in recent weeks to select members of our counseling team, staffing in general has been our top priority this summer. We will have one new assistant principal, David Thomson, join our team, with Mrs. Justice and Mr. Lasher as returning members of the administration.  Tom Jamerson has been selected as our athletic director.   Mr. Jamerson and Mr. Thomson will begin working in July in preparation for the new school year.  Other new Marvin Ridge staff will be introduced to the school community in the weeks ahead.  

In August, we will have orientation sessions for students in each grade level. At the orientation sessions, students will be able to receive their class schedule, purchase parking passes (parent signature required), rent locks for lockers, and obtain bus transportation information. Information about our parent organizations such as PTSO, Academic Boosters, Athletic Boosters, and Band Boosters will be available. Maverick spirit wear will also be for sale on these days.

At the orientation sessions, parents/guardians will be able to pick up PowerSchool log-in information if they did not previously do so. The PowerSchool system provides access to grades and attendance information on an on-going basis. Parents who need assistance with password changes for PowerSchool can request this at the orientation session as well. Parent/guardian photo ID is required to obtain PowerSchool log-in information.

Student Orientation Dates in August:
August 13- Seniors (8am to 11am- drop-in)
August 14- Juniors (8am to 11am- drop-in)
August 18- Sophomores (8am to 11am- drop-in)
*August 19- Freshmen (not a drop-in event- see times below)
Last Names A-L from 8am to 10am
Last Names M-Z from 10:30am to 12:30pm
*There will be a special presentation for parents at the event for Freshmen. Parents are welcome to attend the drop-in events for all other grade levels.

We are aware that for a brief period of time earlier in July, those with PowerSchool access were able to log-in and view a version of a 14-15 schedule. This access was an error and schedules are not finalized for the coming school year. At this time, PowerSchool access has been closed for the summer and will re-open just before school begins. Schedule changes cannot be requested at this time as schedules are not finalized. Requests for schedule changes will begin for each grade level on the date of their orientation session. Our counselors will be working to process the requests, which must meet schedule change requirements. These requirements will be detailed on our Schedule Change Form. Forms will be available at the orientation events, and on our website, once we begin the student orientations.

Additional information:

• Please check the announcement section of our website for information regarding our Community Read program. As part of our school’s mission, our community comes together to discuss a global topic in the fall during an event called Community Read Day. The aim of this program is to empower our students with global knowledge and a respect for diversity that will help them be successful citizens in a changing global community. This year we will be using five books to explore Chinese culture. On our website, you will see the titles, authors, and a summary of each book. Please select one of the books to read over the summer.

• Try-outs for the fall sports season will begin on August 1, varying by sport with details available on the Athletic Booster website, www.gomavericks.org. All students interested in fall sports should register on the site, and ensure that correct forms and paperwork are completed prior to try-outs. Health physicals and insurance information must be submitted prior to try-outs.

• There will be a Marvin Ridge Campus Clean-up Day on Saturday, August 2 from 8am to 1pm. We welcome all volunteers who would be willing to help for any portion of that time. We will be weeding, trimming, spreading mulch, picking up litter and other tasks to beautify the campus on this day.

• Student report cards from the end of the 2013-2014 school year are available in our front office and can be picked up during our summer office hours. Yearbooks from the 2013-2014 school year are available for purchase in the school office as well. The cost is $85.

• Transcripts will be provided for all students with their first report card in October. If transcripts are needed prior to that, there is a transcript request form, which must be completed and submitted to our main office with a $3 per transcript fee.

• Students who will be participating in a Physical Education Class during the 14-15 school year should complete an online uniform order. Uniforms are required for all physical education classes. The link for placing orders is available in the scrolling announcements section of our website. Orders placed by August 3 will be delivered by the first day of school.

I look forward to serving and leading in this special place, working collaboratively as One Team on One Mission, and assisting our students as they earn their Passport to the World. A positive year of achievement and progress awaits us!

**Union County Weekly provided our community with an introduction to Mrs. Cook this past weekend.  Please see the following link for full coverage:  Mavericks Welcome a Red Wolf (by permission).



Written by: Donna Cook, Principal
Posted: Jul 23, 2014 by Lisa Justice

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