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Local school provides more than classes

School creates sense of community belonging

(Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette) Superintendent Steve Patchin, listens to the monthly Principals’ Reports, along with School Board member Chuck Paoli (left).

HANCOCK — The Hancock Public Schools provides more than classes and education, said Superintendent Steve Patchin. As he is learning and becoming acclimated to his new position, he is also learning things beyond scholastic and administrative duties, under the guidance and tutelage of staff and school board members.

Patchin said that in an email to his staff recently, he discussed some of what he referred to as “great stuff” that has happened since the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, as well what the staff and the school board have taught him since he assumed his position.

“The staff is actually teaching me, as is the (School) Board, more about the district; what the community is all about, and what they value,” said Patchin.

The value is about the quality of the education received at Hancock, he said, and the value of the feeling of family taking care of each other in the school district, and along with them are artifacts that reflect those values.

Part of the goal is teaching youth how to be active members of their community, he explained. For example, there is the annual elementary school Christmas concert.

“It’s so cool to have a Christmas concert where it’s totally packed,” said Patchin. “We even have to use a separate parking lot and run a bus shuttle back and forth, so we can get grandparents there to see it, because it fills up our whole elementary (school) gym.”

Patchin said he was amazed at the number of people who showed up for the concert, even though it began at 9 a.m.

“Cheryl Delong does such a fantastic job with the kids,” he said, “because everything is like a new little skit for each, and each tells a story.”

In the Middle School, Jesse Chynoweth’s sixth grade class has a play as part of his class, said Patchin. Whether engaged in building sets, or acting, or other tasks, the entire class participates in the production.

“They bring the elementary school kids up, the parents come into watch, they run a number of different showings,” said Patchin. “It’s really cool.”

“I think what we have done — Jen Smith, one of our English and French languages teacher had the whole Wing-Ding Week, during which students went out to participated in community projects.

There is, too, the Interact Club, led by teacher Steve Smith. The Interact Club is within the Rotary, which conducted the Day of Giving, during which everything the club collected was donated to the Salvation Army, and all money from the Red Kettle Campaign stays within the local area, Patchin said.

“There there are so many little artifacts like that,” Patchin said, projects designed to show that community is comprised of community members, and each member is an integral part of the community.

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