New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 23, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: NEW BRAUNFELS ISD
cc We’ve already started the process by sharing with everyone what our vision is—which is that every student has the same absolute value and every one of them Is important. It’s out moral, ethical and professional responsibility to meet the needs of every student."
John Burkfl | NBHS principal
WILL WRIGHT I Herald-Zeitiuiq
New Braunfels High School principal John Burks greets students on Monday morning.FIRST DAY ON THE JOBNew NBHS principal Burks promises timely, accurate communication
By will Wright
|()hn Burks greeted every stuik'nt with .1 smile Monday morning, his tirst as principal .it New Braunfels High School.
’Hi! (')Oo(1 morning/' Burks said, as students arrived at the main entran( e )ust after 8 a.m. ('ounst'lors guid('d them into th(' school, where their room assignments awaitc'd
— pasted on tht' hallway wall near the* ottic('.
“IVrsonally, I'm ext ited," he said ot his tirst day. “1 think we have a real challenge to [)rovi(le tor the nt^eds of every child. We havf' an extraordinarily intf'lligent and wonderful ta( ulty — I think they're ready."
Burks is one of several new principals at NBISD schools this year. The former New Braunfels Middle' School principal, already familiar with several of his new charges, ( ailed some of them by name as thc*v arrived.
"We're going to monitor the first-(iay process and make sure we provide assistance to the students, especially the freshmen," he said. "We're optimistic we can get everyone into class before 10 a.m."
Burks said an estimated 2,402 students will be enrolling at New Braunfels High during the first week. For 30 minutes, a steady stream of vehicles trickled in off of Loop 337, and
Burks held up the flow at times to speak with parents dropping off their students in time for the 8:40 a.m. first bell.
Facilities director Gay Rickman and counselors Soccoro Torres and Rene Vega helped point the students in the right direction. All were wearing blue T-shirts with "Unicorns 1" on the backs, and Burks didn't hesitate while explaining the meaning.
"It means that t'ver>' c hild is important," he said, reiterating a themc' he's been advocating since being appointed to the position last spring.
During feat her in-service last wc'ek, Burks said he S[)()ke of many goals for the year.
"We talked about vision, we talked about customer service andicommunica-tion with our parents and the faculty is ready for that," he said. "We're facing additional challenges in state tc*sting, and we're working hard on preparing the students and the parents for those challenges.
"So, 1 think we're going to have a great year."
By late afternoon, Burks marveled! at how smoothly the day went. As students filed in and out of the main office — many of therp picking up schedule change forms and asking cjuestions of staffers outside tne counselors' office — he said he was imprc'ssed with the students and the
New Braunfels Prayer Vigil
LAURA McKENZlE jHerald-Zeituiig
"I think everything went relatively smoothly," he said. "We handled the students still needing to go through the registration process and they were in class l)y 11 a.m. Now we're just in the process of doing the first day's count (of students)."
Burks said the pace was much faster than that of the middle school, where he served as principal for four years. New Braunfels Middle School enrolled 938 students last year.
"There are tw ice as many students, faculty and parents," he said. "But I was observing and interacting with stucients during the three lunch periods. They were very well behaved — you could talk to them in a normal tone of voice and be heard."
And what does Burks hope to accomplish in the coming months?
"We've already started the proc t'ss by sharing with t^ven/one what our vision is
— which IS that every stu dent has the same* alisolute value and everv one of them is important. It's our moral, ethical and [)rof('s sional responsibility to met'f the needs of ev(>r\ student.
"Second, their [>arents are our customers, and we owe them timely, appropriate, accurate and respectful cornmunitation in regards to their children. That means timely posting of grades and rc'sponses to e-mails and phone calls.
"If we do those two things well, I think wt''ll serve students well."
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Mori - Sat 9 ti) 6 Sun 10 lo 3 Breakfast & I.uiich 10 to 2 270 W. San Antonio St.
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One Less Thing To ^ ^Remember!Wi
New Braunfels High School junior Kristen West. 16, joins about 200 others at Unicorn Stadium on Sunday evening for an annual back-to-school prayer event. Two students and several local pastors ottered prayers tor students, teachers and administrators.
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