Jennifer Hall says goodbye to GES

Posted 7/1/20

Jennifer Hall, the principal at Gerald Elementary School since 2012, sat behind her desk for the last time Tuesday, June 30.

Hall first walked through the doors of the school as a kindergarten …

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Jennifer Hall says goodbye to GES

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Jennifer Hall, the principal at Gerald Elementary School since 2012, sat behind her desk for the last time Tuesday, June 30.

Hall first walked through the doors of the school as a kindergarten student. She continued her education at the school through fifth grade, before going to the Rosebud Center for grade six. She then moved on to Owensville for middle school and high school.

She returned to Owensville Middle School in 1994 as a math teacher. By 2000 she was the principal at Owensville Elementary. In 2012, she came full circle back to Gerald.

During her tenure, she has seen the implementation of the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and the expansion of the PreK program, both of which she considers highlights of her career here.

The PBS program recognizes students for doing the right thing. While many teachers already did that, the program creates a standard applied to the entire school. In the past GES has been recognized with bronze and silver awards for their implementation of the program. For the 2019-2020 year, the school earned a gold award.

The PreK program brings in four-year-olds for half a day of classes. This gives young students a chance to help adapt to the rules of a classroom, as well as an introduction to early education. Hall says she can see a difference in these students as they begin kindergarten.

Another of Hall’s favorite programs has been the formation of family groups. Students from classrooms throughout the school meet together each Friday morning in a family group. The goal is to allow students to develop relationships with students in different age groups. These relationships may come in handy at recess, at school-related activities, or on the bus when a student needs a friendly face.

One of the worst situations  that occurred in Hall’s career took place in this, her final year. The coronavirus turned education upside down. Hall commends her teachers for adapting  new curriculum, finding ways to teach online and on their phones, and making sure no child was left out of the process.

This year, as last year, there will be no new teachers at GES, although a veteran, Kenda Stockton who taught at a different school in the district last year, will return.

Three teachers will not return for the 2020-2021 term. Lauri Link retired and Nicole Jenkins and Megan Young will move to Owensville schools.

There will be two less classrooms at GES next year.

Tuesday afternoon Hall walked out of the building where she had spent so many years as both student and principal, and walked into the next phase of her life. GES will miss her.

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