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Local schools ready for the start of a new year of learning

By:  Paula Walter

Assistant EditorIMG_6087

Johnson County students will soon say goodbye to summer as the school doors open once again on August 3rd. For teachers and administrative staff, the journey to get ready for the start of another school year begins quite a few weeks in advance.

Jennifer Icenhour is a math teacher at Roan Creek Elementary. She has been teaching school for 16 years, and with the exception of one year in the kindergarten classroom, she has only taught fourth grade. You could say fourth graders are her specialty.
“This is a fun age group,” Icenhour said as her face lit up. “They are eager to learn and please the teacher. School is still fun for them.”
Icenhour has been busy preparing the classroom. It’s important for her to have supplies and necessary books in place for the children she teaches. Books are in cubbies, shelves are organized and materials needed for the students to have a successful year are in place. Attached to each student’s desk is a bag designed to hold crayons, scissors, glue sticks and dry erasers, all the supplies needed for the students to have a productive day. The classroom is welcoming, with a place for everything and everything in its place. Words of encouragement such as “I believe in you” and “Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out,” are placed around the room on the classroom walls. Icenhour tries to come up with new ideas each year to get her students excited about learning.
“If I could only teach 4th grade for the next 15 years, I’d be happy,” she said with a broad smile.
Johnson County High School has recently completed some remodeling inside the building to provide tighter security measures. A few years ago a security guard was stationed at the foot of the hill leading to the school. Doors of the school were locked and visitors had to buzz security to be let in.

Visitors to the school this year will meet with more heightened security than ever before. The main entrance has been sectioned off, no longer admitting entrance to the commons area as before. Visitors must go into what had once been the administrative offices and pass through security to gain access to the school.