August 4, 2021
Dear Parents and Families,
I hope you are relaxing and enjoying some summer activities after a very challenging year. We traveled a difficult road together, and I can say that I learned a lot on our journey. Reflecting upon last year showed me that we are a resilient, committed, caring family here in Yellow Springs Schools. We will no doubt need that to guide us through this year. For school districts, August always signifies a new beginning. While the 2021-2022 school year holds much uncertainty, it also holds so much promise!
To start the school year, and for the foreseeable future, Yellow Springs Schools will REQUIRE masks for all students and adults regardless of vaccination status.
This will protect our youngest students as they are unable yet to get the vaccine. This will also provide a line of defense against new COVID-19 variants. Science has shown us that the two best lines of defense against COVID-19 are vaccinations and masking. We know how to wear masks and we have proven that we can do it successfully. A universal mask requirement allows us to have as normal a school year as possible. We will also continue to elevate our cleaning and sanitation practices. Expect more communication from the building principals about all safety measures for the upcoming year.
Please remember to access the district’s website (http://www.ysschools.org/) and social media platforms (Twitter: @terriholden and @YSpringsSchools, Facebook: @YellowSpringsSchools, and Instagram: @YellowSpringsSchools) to get up-to-date information regarding what is happening in our schools. You can find the district’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services Plan on the district’s website. Additionally, please expect to find our revised Health and Safety Plan, which will be updated continually, on our website in the coming days. Our entire plan will be approved by the Board of Education at the August board meeting.
We have 14 new staff members in Yellow Springs Schools this year. While we will miss those who have moved on, we have an amazing group of teachers joining the Yellow Springs Family! Please give them all a warm Yellow Springs welcome!
Alex has a master’s degree in Diplomacy from Norwich University and a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Ohio Dominican. He was with us last year as a building substitute at the MS/HS. Alex will teach the Arts and Communication class and Career Explorations class at the middle school. Alex is a resident of Yellow Springs.
Julia is a recent graduate of Wright State University. She comes to us from New Lebanon Local Schools, where she served as a tutor at Dixie Middle School. Julia will join Yellow Springs Schools as a 6th grade mathematics and science teacher at Mills Lawn School.
Ashley comes to us from Urbana City Schools where she served at Urbana Junior High School as an intervention specialist. She is also a Yellow Springs resident and parent. Ashley joins the district as a 5th grade teacher at Mills Lawn School.
Alexa (Lexi) is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University. She was with Yellow Springs Schools last year as the building substitute (among other things) for Mills Lawn School. Lexi will stay at the building and serve as a 4th grade teacher.
Terri comes to us from Dayton Smart Elementary and Northridge Local Schools where she served as an intervention specialist at each. Terri joins the district as an intervention specialist at Mills Lawn School.
Alexis comes to us as a new graduate from Wright State University. Alexis is from the Fort Recovery area. She will serve as a 4th grade teacher at Mills Lawn School.
Kathleen comes to us from Dayton Public Schools, where she served as an intervention specialist serving 5th and 6th grade students. Prior to her work at DPS, Kathleen was an intervention specialist in Los Angeles, CA. Kathleen will serve as an intervention specialist at Mills Lawn School.
Ashlee comes to us from Tecumseh Local School District, where she served for over ten years as an intense resource room teacher for grades 2-5. Ashlee will serve as an intervention specialist at Mills Lawn School.
Kineta comes to us from Yellow Springs Home, Inc., and prior to that Dayton Early College Academy, where she served as an English teacher. She is also a Yellow Springs resident and parent. Kineta will be teaching 6th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies.
Megan comes to us from Xenia City Schools where she served as high school assistant principal. She has also been an elementary principal in Dayton Public. She joins the district as the principal of Mills Lawn Elementary.
Erykah comes to us from Columbus Bilingual Academy North, where she served as a middle school ELA teacher. Prior to that, in 2019-2020, she did her student teaching at Yellow Springs HS with Desiree Nickell. Erykah will be teaching English 9, English 11, and AP Seminar.
Granville comes to us from Nexstep Education and Montgomery County ESC where he served as an intervention specialist. Granville joins the district as an intervention specialist at McKinney Middle School/Yellow Springs High School.
Joy comes to us from Dayton Public Schools, where she served as assistant principal at Ponitz Career Technology Center and Thurgood Marshall High School. Prior to that, she was a middle school science teacher in West Carrollton Schools. Joy will serve as assistant principal at McKinney Middle School/Yellow Springs High School.
Rich comes to us from Clark County School District in Nevada, where he served as physical education/health teacher at Keller Middle School. Rich joins the district as the PE/health teacher at McKinney Middle School/Yellow Springs High School.
We have made many other changes for next year that will create opportunities for us to better support our students.
Please reach out with any questions. Enjoy the rest of the summer!