Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Middle school hires new head

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County School District officially announced the new principal at Wood River Middle School at the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year will be Fritz S. Peters. WRMS Principal John Cvetich is retiring from his position at the end of this school year. After six years on the job he is returning to Vancouver, Wash., to help care for his aging father and aunt.

Peters is currently in his second year as the assistant principal at the Middle School. He came to the valley from O'Leary Junior High School in Twin Falls, where he was also the assistant principal. Originally from Santa Fe, N.M., Peters has a son who will be in sixth grade in the fall.

"One of the big things is to really get the administration end of the school in order," he said. "We'll work at making it a model school year so that we're not changing strategies constantly. Also, we'll base events around the Idaho Standards Achievement Test testing. I'm not walking in like a bull in a china shop and changing everything but my job is to make teachers' jobs easier."

The middle school has approximately 700 students enrolled, though there is a three to four percent average growth each year.

Another challenge is making sure the children are making the yearly average progress, Peters said. "Reaching these grade levels are an important aspect of the No Child Left Behind Act.

"It's a factor for every school in the country. That will be a really big push for us. As well, we have some openings in hiring, especially filling the assistant principal's position. I'm excited about forming that committee and looking at candidates in next three to four weeks."

As for the drug situation, Peters, PTO president Joanne Brand and school district Superintendent Jim Lewis are discussing forming a task force to deal with the matter, Peters said.

"We need to increase drug education, work with law enforcement and educate the parents more. When there are a certain amount of incidents (we have to) shake things up. It's time for a community task force."

Cvetich feels a sense of loss about leaving the school so soon, but he said change is good.

"The fundamental aspects will remain. We're working really close together on a smooth transition. Fritz is familiar with the school and staff. He cares about kids and the middle school concept, and cares about keeping WRMS a safe and good place where kids want to come."

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