Back to school

Students, teacher and principals head back into the classrooms today. Some employees shared what they did during their Christmas break.
Jan. 03, 2013 @ 06:32 AM

FOREST CITY— After some relaxation and time with their families, students headed back into the classrooms today.

Although they are ready to get back to work molding young minds, employees of Rutherford County Schools enjoyed having a break to celebrate the holiday.

"I really enjoyed spending time with my family during my Christmas vacation. I would have to say that the excitement that our seven year old daughter shares with the family is one of the best parts. Her name is Madison and without any doubt, her Christmas spirit was contagious to our entire family," said Bill Bass, principal of Ellenboro Elementary School. "My wife's family and mine live in Rutherford County, so we did not have to travel.Thanks to Facebook I got to communicate with my sister who lives in Connecticut. We had a great Christmas break."

Others like Cindy Dotson, instructional support at Pinnacle Elementary School, have family that live out of state. She made her Christmas special by giving handcrafted gifts. She also received an environmentally friendly gift.

"My children and their families live out of state and due to their jobs, so our immediate family celebrated Christmas the first weekend in December. Since my children were young, we made our tree decorations and gifts. Due to work, I did not have time to do that this year, so over the school Christmas holiday, I have been making my homemade gifts," Dotson said. "This did not mean that my family didn't get gifts, the grandchildren got a pony and my children received travel money. My children were prepared with their gifts and I must brag that I am probably the only person in Rutherford County that now has a cloth towel roll instead of paper towels."

For the families who still have multiple young children, Christmas was very exciting.

My wife and I have five children, so Christmas is always exciting around our house. They are all 10 and under. My wife is a teacher at Burns High School, so we all get to spend the entire holiday break together as a family, which is really great," Brad Richardson, principal at Forest-City Dunbar Elementary School. "We really just did traditional celebrations such as decorating the house, making gingerbread houses, and going to Christmas services at church. We always spend Christmas day with my in-laws, who are our neighbors. Santa puts presents in the stockings of the kids and all the adults in the house. After going through the stockings, we stop to have breakfast at my wife's grandmother's, then come back to the in-laws to open presents. Our tradition is for one person to open a present at a time while the others watch.  This way it takes all day to enjoy opening presents."

Joe Maimone, headmaster of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, celebrated with all seven of his children.

"We spent a restful break at home with family and friends. All seven of our children were home with us and we enjoyed a traditional Christmas Eve celebration at our home with Italian seafood and pasta dishes, then attended midnight Mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus," Maimone said.

After all the excitement of the holiday season, it comes time to start thinking about the goals that the schools have for their students during the second semester.

Greg Lovelace, principal at Chase High School, plans to continue to advance the school's use of technology. He is also hoping that Jill Francis, Chase science teacher that was just named Region 8 Teacher of the Year, will advance to be the winner for the state.

"I am looking forward to the continued improvement of our digital learning environment and to hopefully having the first Rutherford County North Carolina Teacher of the Year," Lovelace said.

Meanwhile Maimone is looking forward to hearing news about college.

"For 2013, we look forward to great news on college acceptances for our senior class of 2013 here at TJCA," Maimone said.

Richardson says he is looking forward to the continued implementation of the Common Core Curriculum.

"As we return to school, I am looking forward to seeing the students and teachers. I look forward to seeing the students come back and return to their routine of learning. I enjoy the breaks, but at the same time I love my job," Richardson said. "I have had a great first half of the year in my new role as principal at Forest City - Dunbar. I am excited and eager to see the progress that our students are making as we continue to implement the Common Core curriculum this year."