Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Avondale Seventh-day Adventist School new lead teacher/principal Nikkia Hampton is ready to welcome students back to school.
Registration day for the school is Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. followed by a parent orientation at 5 p.m. Students will begin the school year at Avondale Aug. 13. An open house is set for Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. The school’s enrollment has doubled from last year’s 13 to the current 27 students. There is room for more to enroll throughout the school year.
What new additions can students expect when they arrive at Avondale this fall?
We will start the year with a food program. [Traditionally children brought their lunch to school.] We will have meals for children to help defray additional expenses for the parents. One side of the multi-purpose room is for physical education and one side is for dining.
She said Avondale also completed playground upgrades for students to enjoy this fall. The playground has 12 exercise bugs for children to ride, eight swings, two slides and a climbing wall with mulch underneath. The school library is stocked with new books too.
What types of classes can students expect at Avondale?
All of our classes are multi-grade, so pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students meet together in one class. We believe with a multi-grade classroom the teacher has more knowledge of the content area.
One classroom welcomes grades first through fourth and another classroom welcomes grades fifth through eighth, but students rotate to the Enrichment Room for science lab, physical education, technology, art and music throughout the week. The school also has a Title 1 Room with a Promethean board, computers and learning games for students.
As a new principal what goals do you have for the school?
We are a missions school. Our goal is to reach out into the community and bring in families that don’t know Christ into our program. We have scholarships available. We want to make sure we are reaching out to the community.
She said the school has been around since 1919 and she wants to continue the tradition of serving students and God. She has high expectations for everyone that walks the halls of the school.
What will your role be at Avondale Seventh-day Adventist School?
I teach four grades, first through fourth, with 11 students of my own too. My priority at the end of the day is to make sure my students have what they need. Administrative duties will also be part of her job.
Where did you work prior to starting July 1 at Avondale?
I worked in Hamilton County schools for nine years. Last year I was the literacy coach for Brown Academy and Orchard Knob Elementary School.
Where did you grow up and attend school personally?
I was born in Detroit, Mich., and attended a private school, Oakwood Academy, for my elementary and middle school education. Then, my family moved to Bessemer, Ala. I graduated from a public school, McAdory High School. I earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at a private school, Oakwood University. I have seen the benefits of a safe, nurturing environment enrolled in a private school.
She holds certifications in elementary education and early childhood and a master’s level reading specialist K-12 certificate from the University of Alabama.
She said she enjoyed private school more because she did not have issues with bullying or peer pressure in that setting.
What are some of the benefits of enrolling at Avondale?
We start the day off with prayer. We use the Southern Union standards along with Common Core standards in math. We weave in biblical principles into teaching through every aspect of the day. We have small class sizes and build deep relationships with students to teach them about the Lord.
Why did you choose to take the job at Avondale?
It was a calling from the Lord. I loved being a literacy coach. I felt I could reach more children at Avondale since I can teach in the classroom. I have a heart for inner-city students.
What book are you reading presently to prepare for the school year?
I am reading “Learning to Trust” by Marilyn Watson. The book teaches to use developmental discipline by meeting each individual student’s needs.