Calera Elementary is soaring to new heights

Published 4:16 pm Monday, September 16, 2013

Seated from left Celita Deem, Krista Townsend. Standing from left Carrie Beth Cashion, Tracie Rothe, Judy Weismann, Tina Allen, Sherri Jones. (contributed)

Seated from left, Celita Deem, Krista Townsend. Standing from left Carrie Beth Cashion, Tracie Rothe, Judy Weismann, Tina Allen and Sherri Jones. (contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

When you walk in the welcoming entrance of Calera Elementary School, the first smiling faces you meet are Secretary Tracie Rothe, Registrar Sherri Jones and Bookkeeper/Office Manager Tina Allen. These cheerful ladies run the daily office operations of the school.

Principal Celita Deem, Assistant Principal Krista Townsend and Counselor Carrie Beth Cashion are the administrative team leading the way to fulfill the goal of preparing every student to succeed. Former Assistant Principal Judy Weismann retired after 28 years in the education field.

“I’m going to sew, play with my grandbabies, go to the lake and fish, and clean my house,” Weismann said. “All six of my grandchildren live within 15 minutes of the house, so we’ll be baking cookies and reading books a lot.”

Deem joined the administrative staff when she left her former position as assistant principal at Inverness Elementary. She has enjoyed getting to know the community over the past six months.

“My transition has been so much easier with the help of Mayor (Jon) Graham, community volunteers and the awesome faculty and staff,” Deem said. “In the months ahead we will concentrate our efforts to get to know the students. Every student learns differently so it’s important we build those relationships with students and parents. By getting to know our students, we hope to become better educators and prepare them for success- it’s all about the kids!”

Students arrived the first day to a freshly renovated school, landscape improvements provided by the PTO, a new science lab, SMART Boards in the classrooms and hot air balloons depicting the school motto, “Learning takes us places.”

Using the acronym SOAR, school personnel will model/teach specific behaviors-be safe, be organized, aspire to achieve, be respectful. Through SOAR, students will get the keys to succeed.

A resource officer is on campus daily to ensure school safety. First Christian Church in Inverness supplied 60 backpacks of school supplies and are helping meet basic needs of at-risk students.

Deem said the community can expect to see continual improvements because there is no compromise when it comes to the future of the children of Calera. “If at the end of the day we can all put our head on that pillow and say we did everything in the best interest of the children, we’ve done our jobs.”