GLASGOW – Families and students filled the halls of Barren County Middle School on Thursday during the Back to School Bash.
Hot dogs and lemonade were offered outside the school while students inside were able to meet their new teachers, walk through their schedules, and check out the opportunities for clubs at booths in the gymnasium.
“We’ve had so many successes this year,” BCMS Principal Stacey Thomas said. “It’s hard to know where to start.”
Thomas said, “Our band and our choir have had some very good successes with KMEA (Kentucky Music Educators Association). We won district in our baseball and we had a very successful season for our football and basketball. In Beta, we not only for the second year in a row have the Kentucky state president, but we also have the national president for Junior Beta.”
“One of the things I have so loved this past year is that we have done a lot firsts,” Thomas said. “We had the first ever FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapter at the middle school level that was started last year.”
Incoming freshmen Riley Mathews was one of the FFA officers at their booth and also spoke on its success and importance of the opportunity for middle schoolers.
“It develops leadership skills and it helps people make friends,” Mathews said. “It’s not just ‘farmers’ though. It is about agriculture careers and stuff like that, but it expands on that. You get to compete in competitions and stretch out of the box. It’s a big circle of everything."
Visual Arts teacher Marla England greeted new students and spoke on the impact that the middle school transition can have.
“Especially the seventh graders, their first year they can be kind of nervous. A lot of them are coming from a smaller school setting and they’re coming into this huge building full of kids and it’s kind of overwhelming. Switching classes is a big deal for them too,” England said.
Talking about her art classes, England added, “I have a lot of kids who are the quiet ones. They come in here and although they may not be as comfortable in some of their other classes, they do really well in here. They excel because it can be their outlet.”
Also speaking on the middle school transition, Thomas said, “Last Friday, we had our very first seventh grade orientation. We had 150 kids to sign up and 250 showed up. It was fantastic. The kids learned how to be ‘lock breakers’, so we had them to open locks. We also had them tour the school which was really nice because they were able to be here with their friends and make new friends without a lot of other distractions and without a lot of other students.”
Thomas said a goal for BCMS this year is a bigger focus on community service.
“We are focusing on community service during our club days this year. That’s something we really want to focus more on because I think it’s important that our students learn how to be good community members," she said.
“We have had a lot of really neat things happening and we just want to keep that momentum going this year."