Photo by Johnny Jackson
New teachers in Henry County have lunch provided by Shane’s Rib Shack, and sponsored by the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, during this year’s Teacher Induction Program.
McDONOUGH — Months have passed since the campus of Henry County High School has experienced as much school business as it has this week with the beginning of the school year fast approaching.
A large number of new teachers and returning bus drivers and bus monitors converged on the property in preparation for the new school year.
Approximately 125 new teachers are going through the Henry County School System’s Teacher Induction Program (T.I.P.), an orientation program designed to introduce newcomers to the school system’s policies, procedures and professional expectations.
Thirty of the system’s new teachers are fresh out of college, according to Rosetta Riddle, Henry’s professional learning coordinator and T.I.P. organizer.
“Each year is different because you have a different combination of people in T.I.P.,” said Riddle. “But we still see their excitement and passion for teaching our children.”
Jonesboro resident Kenneth Barrow is a newcomer who will teach physical education at Stockbridge High School in Stockbridge.
The 29-year veteran educator, and Griffin native, has taught in Troup County, in DeKalb County, in Clayton County, and in Atlanta Public Schools.
Barrow said he sees the move to working in Henry County as an opportunity to be closer to home.
“I wanted to finish my career here,” Barrow said. “I think it’s a great school system.”
Orientation programs like T.I.P., he said, give teaches “the opportunity to get to know the school systems and the communities” they plan to work in.
Barrow, whose ultimate goal is to coach on the collegiate level, noted discipline and character will be instrumental traits in having a successful school year in Henry.
“I want to just come in with a great attitude, and share my 29 years of being a physical education teacher to give back to the kids,” he said.
Jacquelyn Phillips has 23 years teaching experience. The McDonough resident comes from DeKalb County Schools, and plans to teach students with moderate intellectual disabilities at Pleasant Grove Elementary School in Stockbridge.
Phillips has lived in Henry County for the past 17 years with her family. She said her children recently began attending school in the school system.
“I’m very impressed,” said Phillips. “I can tell that the school system puts children first, and that’s my priority. I wanted to be a part of the team.”
Hundreds of school bus drivers and school bus monitors also met for the first time this school year, at the Henry County Performing Arts Center in McDonough.
The drivers and monitors expected to receive their route assignments at the meeting.
School bus monitor, Glenda Robinson, said she excited about the upcoming school year. She will be one of the first adults some students meet in the new school year.
“I’m excited,” said Robinson, who is anxious to see two of her students from the previous school year. “I haven’t seen them since May 29. They are beautiful kids.”