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First Day

EHS welcomes students back to school

The Inter-Mountain photos by Haley Gordon Liz MacVean, the Elkins High School choir director, speaks to a class of more than 50 students on the first day of classes Thursday, making this one of the biggest choirs the school has ever seen.

ELKINS — Randolph County Schools welcomed students back to school with open arms Thursday, the first day of classes for the new school year.

Elkins High School, in particular, has gone through some changes recently. Not only is Carla Lambert the new principal, but there’s a new assistant principal as well. Brian Currence joined the team, along with eight fresh-faced new teachers.

The staff change isn’t the only thing that Elkins High has been working on over the summer. The gym now has air conditioning, a blessing to all the parents who have had to sit through a hot graduation ceremony. In addition to that, workers at the school have renovated the roof, powerwashed the courtyard, adopted new textbooks, and sealed and cleaned the entire exterior of the building.

Michael Ludle, one of the new EHS Social Studies teachers, said he has a lot of family in the Elkins area that drew him here. His father is an alumnus of Elkins High School.

“Elkins has always been kind of home base for me,” Ludle said.

Seth Blake, the new Elkins High School band director, conducts students during the first day of classes Thursday.

Ludle, with one full year of teaching under his belt, is covering two freshman World History classes, and one sophomore U.S. History class. In his previous job, Ludle taught eighth grade and has said he’s ready for the longer class periods and new teaching opportunities that Elkins has to offer.

The Wesleyan graduate mentioned that he’s excited to teach European History to his World History students. As for U.S. History, Ludle stated, “We have a lot of kids who don’t have a basic understanding of where we come from.”

The teachers who have been at Elkins High for a while have also been coming up with ways to keep classes interesting and get the students invested.

Liz MacVean, the EHS choir director, oversaw a class of more than 50 students Thursday, making this one of the biggest choirs the school has ever seen.

MacVean decided that for her class, each student would get a seashell to put in a jar “to make something beautiful (that represents) the uniqueness of the choir members and how all of them are unique and different.”

One of MacVean’s students, Tess McCartney, said, “It was like all of us coming together.”

All of these changes are designed to ensure a productive future for Elkins High School, officials said.