As the school year begins and students hustle through the halls, many will see new administrative faces.
Three new principals have been hired in Huntington County - Chad Daugherty at Huntington North High School, Chuck Werth at Crestview Middle School and Russ Degitz at Lancaster Elementary School.
Each principal weighs in on his hopes on the start of a new year:
Chad Daugherty says he believes that Huntington North High School should be the "crown jewel" of the Huntington County Community School Corporation. He has many plans to provide "an atmosphere where kids can learn and be safe."
He is returning to the high school after eight years of working at Salamonie and Crestview schools.
He began his full-time education career at HNHS, where he taught geography for six years. He also served for three years as the head baseball coach and as a football coach. In 2004 he accepted the assistant principal position at Salamonie, where he worked for one year. For the next seven years he was employed at Crestview Middle School, where he started as an assistant principal and served as athletic director. After two years, Daugherty became principal - a title he held for five years.
Daugherty says he is excited to be back at the high school.
He wants to make a "positive impact" on the students, who he says are his number one priority.
"They are why we are here," he adds.
Daugherty says the opportunities for students at HNHS are "unbelievable."
With the Viking New Tech program offering project based learning, a new CNA program providing nursing students with the opportunity to earn college credits and the new iPads bringing new responsibility and commitment to the students, he says there is a lot of good going on at the school.
He is not the only new face HNHS students will see, as the school also has two new deans of students, Rod Richison and Jami Craft.
Daugherty says he and the new deans will be familiar faces to many of the high school's students, as they have all been employed at Huntington middle schools before accepting their new positions. This familiarity will help build good student relationships, he says. These relationships, he hopes, will allow HNHS students to celebrate their successes.
For the 2012-13 school year, Daugherty says he wants to help students achieve good scores on their English and algebra end-of-course assessment (ECA) tests. He says he wants to be sure ninth grade students are prepared for the tests, which are taken during sophomore year.
"We have to focus on accountability," he says of preparing students for the testing.
"The kids come first. These young people are our leaders."
He says he wants to work on ridding HNHS of mediocrity and preparing students not only for testing, but for life outside of the school by focusing on delivering a quality education.
Daugherty encourages parents and the public to visit the school. He says he wants to make the community more aware of the good things going on at HNHS.
"We have a lot of new coaches, new faces, and new programs," he says.
"This year will be full of quality differences and changes," he adds.
Crestview Middle School
Chuck Werth is the new principal of Crestview. He held the assistant principal position for the previous four school years.
Werth has a long history with Huntington schools. He taught at Riverview Middle School for 14 years, where he also coached football, wrestling and track.
He has also coached football at HNHS.
Werth says he transitioned into administration to "have a broader scope of contact with kids."
"Administration allows you to affect the students' well-being and academics and help them become well rounded citizens," he adds.
Werth says today's students are advancing at an amazing pace, and he is ready to hit the ground running.
He wants to help Crestview Middle School students improve their literacy.
"Reading is the key to learning," he notes.
He is also optimistic about the new iPads. He says the technology is "very positive."
Werth says, "I am humbled and honored to serve this great school - the kids, teachers, and all the staff."
He adds, "We can't rest on our laurels. We are always striving to improve."
Russ Degtiz comes to Lancaster from Huntington North, where he most recently served as dean of students for three and a half years.
He also taught at HNHS for six and a half years.
He says he is excited for this new opportunity.
He feels he has joined a "solid community."
Degitz wants to focus on "student successes and achievement," in the coming school year. He says he wants to positively benefit students.
"At the end of the day, we have to do what is best for the students," he notes.
Degitz also says he wants to make sure his staff is "equipped and empowered" to assist students in every way possible.
"I will be in my office very little," he says.
"I am looking forward to impacting young people - I want the kids to trust me. I am very privileged to be in this position, and am very enthusiastic."
The transition from working with high school students to elementary students will not be without its challenges, but he says he will not totally change his approach to administration.
"But I might go to recess," he says with a smile.
Degitz says, "I am blessed, positive and excited to be here, and I plan to be here for a long time."