Saturday, December 20, 2014

Butler Co. Teachers Prepare To Return To School
By Catalina Trivino

Time to set that alarm again. Summer vacation is almost over for hundreds of students in Butler County who head back to school in less than two weeks -- but they aren't the only ones anxious. So are the teachers.

The halls are quiet now throughout Butler County's schools, but with the new school year right around the corner, teachers tell us there's a lot left to prepare before the halls are buzzing with students.

Moving, cleaning and preparing -- Lauren Drapaliq spends the final days of summer getting her classroom ready for the big day.

"I think they're going to grow up to be the ones that are making all the decisions one day, figuring everything out. And it's amazing to see that start here and kind of be a part of that, as well," Said Drapaliq.

A job the Chicago native will teach to seventh and eighth graders at Greenville Middle School. She's one of 28 new staff members in the county.

But the science teacher says it's not all exciting. There's a lot of pressure as the first day of school draws closer.

"There is a lot going on, that's for sure. I know on Monday I looked at my calandar and I was like, 'Wow! We're getting kids in two weeks from today!' So a lot to do in that time, but it kind of makes it more exciting knowing I have two weeks until I get to meet my kids," Said Drapaliq.

And 6th grade math teacher, Rod Seale, agrees. He says he's spent an additional $40 of his own to prepare for the first day. That's in addition to the $300 given to each teacher in the county for school supplies.

"Different minipulatives, things for the walls... this year I'm doing a little painting, so buying some gold and black paint that have the Greenville black and gold on some parts of the furniture, expo markers are always in shortage," Said Seale.

And in addition to all those preparations, Butler County Schools Superintendent, Darren Douthit, says this year, about 75 percent of teachers took professional development classes over the summer.

Butler County students begin School August 19.