It's the start of a new school year in Ohio County, and administrators on Monday urged faculty and staff to make the 2013-14 year one to remember.
Several hundred teachers and staff members attended Monday's opening session at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center before heading off to their own buildings. With students returning to the classroom on Thursday, those in attendance Monday heard words of encouragement from their peers.
Superintendent Dianna Vargo led the morning's activities, with Wheeling Park High School senior Blake Humphrey starting the day with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Wheeling Park High School assistant principals Wayne Ogilbee, from left, and Dick Oschenbien, Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo and Assistant Superintendent Bernie Dolan listen to presentations Monday at the Ohio County Schools opening session for teachers and staff.
The festivities ended when more than a dozen middle school students took the stage to sing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" while a video presentation from Wheeling Park teacher Caroline Ihlenfeld played on the screen.
In between, those in attendance heard from a myriad of speakers.
Karen Seabright, the 2013-14 Service Personnel Employee of the Year, spoke to her colleagues about the impact they make in their interactions with students. As the front desk attendant at Wheeling Park High School, Vargo said Seabright is the face of the high school to visitors since she is the first person they meet.
Ohio County Teacher of the Year Joyce Jingle said teachers must have high expectations for themselves and their students.
"We all care deeply about the academic and personal growth of our students," Vargo said. "We all share the goal of inspiring our students to dream."
The beginning of the 2013-14 academic year also brings a new beginning at Triadelphia Middle School as Robb Bauer takes over as the new assistant principal.
The Ohio County Board of Education named Bauer as the new assistant principal during a special meeting on Monday morning at the Board of Education office in Elm Grove. His experience in education goes back more than a decade.
From 2005-12, Bauer served in Ohio County Schools as a mathematics and physical education teacher. He taught at Triadelphia Middle School, Ritchie Elementary School and Warwood School during that time.
From 2012-13, Bauer served as assistant principal at Magnolia High School.
"We are very excited that Mr. Bauer will be returning to Ohio County Schools," Vargo said.