Owens thrilled to get school started

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

Stu­dents are back in their New­ton County class­rooms, and ev­ery­one at Al­covy High School is en­thu­si­as­tic and ready for a new school year, ac­cord­ing to the school’s new prin­ci­pal, San­dra Owens.

A lit­tle more than 1,500 stu­dents at­tended the first day of school at Al­covy Fri­day.

Owens said New­ton County School Sys­tem Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey greeted her at the school; Es­sex Bank, one of the high school’s Part­ners in Ed­u­ca­tion, brought AHS teach­ers dough­nuts and juice to start their day; and lunch in the cafe­te­ria with the schools stu­dents’ went smoothly.

“All the ad­min­is­tra­tors, fac­ulty, and staff have told me this is the smoothest start ever for Al­covy High School. This is solely a re­sult of

their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion,” Owens said.

“I have never seen this many peo­ple work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively and in­tensely for stu­dents. The par­ents and stu­dents can be proud of the fac­ulty and staff of Al­covy High School. I am touched by their en­thu­si­asm and com­mit­ment.”

Owens, who pre­vi­ously was an as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at New­ton High School, said tran­si­tion­ing into the role of prin­ci­pal has been a pos­i­tive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that’s been dif­fer­ent, but she said she wouldn’t change it for the world.

Owen said she has key goals for the year: “to in­crease the fo­cus on stu­dent achieve­ment, im­prove in­struc­tional ex­cel­lence, and im­prove teacher morale.”

Owens also said she wants to in­crease the grad­u­a­tion rate, es­tab­lish pro­fes­sional learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties in each depart­ment, and im­prove parental in­volve­ment.

To pre­pare for the new school year at Al­covy, Owens said she has changed the ad­min­is­tra­tive or­ga­ni­za­tion, added a new aca­demic coach, re­vamped the school’s in­struc­tional fo­cus pro­gram, and cre­ated a new lead­er­ship team and a new de­sign team.

In ad­di­tion, she said more than 40 new per­son­nel have been hired at the school and sev­eral re­pairs and al­ter­ations have been done to the build­ing.

Owens said be­fore school be­gan on Fri­day, she met a lot of par­ents, stu­dents and teach­ers at the school’s open house on Wed­nes­day night, where she re­ceived a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back.

“A fac­ulty mem­ber made a comment that a group of teach­ers were hang­ing out in the park­ing lot af­ter the open house for awhile talk­ing. She said that last year, that never hap­pened; they would race to leave,” Owens said.

“I take that as a good sign that morale is im­prov­ing. Now it is time to en­sure the stu­dents’ morale is mov­ing in the same di­rec­tion.”

Owens

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