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With new mission statement intact, educators ready to return to school Aug. 15

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BY AUDREY LEWIS | N-H Reporter

The start of the 2018-19 school year Aug. 15, will bring the employment of a new mission and vision statement for the Owen County School District.
After receiving input from community members, students, staff, and parents, Owen County Schools will now follow, “Our mission at Owen County Schools is to provide opportunities and resources where all students will develop perseverance and a passion for life-long learning in a safe and supportive educational environment,” in their journey to success.
According to Owen County High School Vice-Principal Brian Gognat, the new mission is designed to encompass what it means to come through Owen County Schools.
The vision for Owen County schools is, “Respect others, experience learning, build relationships, expect excellence, lead and seek opportunities,” printed on school materials to spell Rebels.  
Owen County Superintendent Rob Stafford reported that to his knowledge this is the first district-wide mission and vision to be initiated by Owen County and the first that included student input.  
“This is what we do here, and this is why we do it,” said Gognat of the mission statement, ”At the end of the day if that doesn’t fit someone’s idea then it’s not gonna work out for them here because these ideas are what the community wants to bring to their kids.”
Another change Gognat is looking forward to is a heightened focus on safety.
“We’re doing more training, trying to be as transparent as possible, and just be better,” Gognat explained.
 A safety day was held around the close of the previous school year and will be used to open the upcoming school year. Safety day will be used to familiarize staff and students with their safety procedure during dangerous weather, threats and other situations.
“I was very impressed with how open, understanding and inviting everyone was,” Gognat expressed of his first year being employed by OCHS. “As quickly as you all accepted me, that’s how little time it took for me to love you all back.”
Gognat is entering his second year as OCHS Vice Principal.
Maurice Bowling Middle School is welcoming an abundance of new staff members this year. Students and parents have the opportunity to meet the teachers at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13 at the school’s open house. During the open house, MBMS will also be sponsoring a Beyond the Badge seminar where a speaker will be presenting parents with information on the appropriate use of the internet and social media.
Jennifer Moore, an MBMS science teacher of eight years, has begun preparation for her student’s arrival by learning about growth-mindset at Professional Development (PD), doing PD at Northern Kentucky University for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and constructing lesson plans.
MBMS will also be utilizing club activities for the third year, such as National Junior Honor Society, Art Club, Agriculture Club, etc. Offering clubs at the middle school level allows students to find their interests, stay involved and helps smooth their transition to high school.
With a new addition being added to the Owen County Lower Elementary School students and teachers can look forward to a new classroom setting. Stafford said the construction to the building would provide no delay to the beginning of the school year and the only work left unfinished by Aug. 15 will be cosmetic details.