AE/MS is Ready for A New School Year

By Jane Slayton

The school doors open on September 3 to welcome students to a new and exciting school year! We have new staff members and new students joining the AE/MS community. We have had 23 new students register this summer!

Stephanie Bendixsen will be teaching 1st grade. We are excited to have her officially be part of our school. She has been a favorite substitute teacher for years. Mrs. Bendixsen will bring great energy and enthusiasm to AE/MS as well as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) background and varied teaching experiences.

Mr. Michael Wiley will be the new technology integrator/tech support person at AE/MS. This is a natural move for Mr. Wiley as he has always been a go-to person in our building for tech help. Mr. Wiley will now have all of his students back again as he will be teaching technology classes to grades K-8. We are excited about this change!

Returning to AE/MS this fall is Ms. Diane Adams. We are very excited to welcome her back in her new role. Mrs. Adams will be the permanent substitute and cover grades K-8 and anything else needed. Students will be thrilled with Mrs. Adam’s classroom presence and personality. She brings many skills with her as well as joy and a positive attitude.

We are still hoping to hire a special education paraprofessional to collaborate with the classroom teachers and work with students in the 3rd-5th grade classrooms. If you know anyone who might be interested, please send them our way.

Lots of work took place this summer while the students were on vacation. The courtyard area was a focus. The stairs to the older section of our building were repaired. Miles of bittersweet was removed from the quince bushes. The walkway was leveled and tarred. A new bollard was installed and lots of weeding took place. Bushwhacking took place between the school and the Thrift Shop and all around the ball field, playground, and skate park. We hope you’ll like the difference!

Exterior painting was done all around the building and even the cupola got a much needed touch-up. The parking lot was repainted and new signage will soon be installed.

Stair treads were replaced near the kitchen area, and new-to-us furniture is in many of the classrooms. Sensory paths can now be found in the kindergarten and second grade hallways. Walking down the hall has never been so much fun!

We are excited to welcome our kindergarten families on August 29 at 9 AM for Orientation. Families will meet all the staff members who will be working with their children. They will spend time in their new classrooms and ride the school bus around the village area. The building will be open to explore before the “big kids” return to school. It is always a fun day and relieves some of the apprehension that can happen on the first day.

Mrs. Lane, Mrs. Turk, and Ms. Slayton attended a “Choose Love” presentation this summer. Choose Love is a K-8 social and emotional learning curriculum that students will be engaged in during the school year. New Hampshire First Lady Valerie Sununu hosted the event at the Bridges House in Concord. Schools that have already implemented the program shared their successes.

Ms. Dow and Ms. Slayton recently attended Kid Governor Boot Camp at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm’s College. AE/MS is registered to participate this fall. The Kid Governor program encourages 5th graders to take action through civic participation by modeling how elections work, and demonstrating how people of all ages can choose to participate in our democratic society. The lessons inspire 5th grade students to be agents of change and active participants in our government.

Preseason practices start on August 26 for 7th and 8th grade soccer players and 5th-8th grade cross country runners. Coach Amy Makechnie and Coach Brian Reynolds are looking forward to the new season. AE/MS is fortunate to have such dedicated, high-quality coaches supporting our students. Our players will have new uniforms this year!  Come and watch a game or meet!

The beautiful maple tree in front of the school already has red and orange leaves, which is definitely a sign that it is time for students to return to AE/MS and for all of us to return to our routine of learning, playing, and thriving as a school community. Bring it on!