BY LEANN DILBECK –
Officials at Mena Public Schools are very pumped to launch a brand-new initiative, “T.E.A.M Mena” for the 2013-2014 academic year. Spokesperson for the new campaign, Paulette Sherrer, explained the acronym is for “Together Everyone Achieves More” and said the concept stems from an administrative retreat where all the officials expressed the desire to implement a “united, cohesive, positive, community-focused environment where students would be given every opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Sherrer said they want to break down walls and alleviate students from being stereotyped based upon their interests, “Everybody wants to be a part of something. We want kids to know they are loved and appreciated…to feel a sense of belonging. If they don’t, they begin to feel less important and that certainly is not what we want!”
Sherrer said that officials will work with scheduling conflicts for those students that want to participate or have an interest in multiple activities. “They have to be given an opportunity to find out what they’re good at in a safe environment while they have parental and teacher support.”
Sherrer said academic excellence is at the core of importance to the district and believes students flourish when given ample opportunities to balance and identify their other strengths.
The district is preparing for its four open houses that will be at staggered times Thursday, August 15: Louise Durham Elementary 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.; Holly Harshman Elementary 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.; Mena Middle School 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.; Mena High School, 10th and 12th grade only, 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.; 9th and 11th grade only 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Bubbling with contagious enthusiasm, Sherrer said the message for the initiative is not just for students but the entire district. “Teachers, para-professionals, custodians, bus-drivers, aids, principals…we’re all of one accord, united, and equally involved.”
She added, “Our tag line says it best, ‘More than an education…it’s an experience…come experience it with us!’”