As students pack their backpacks with fresh notebooks and pencils, teachers are organizing their classrooms in anticipation of a new school year.

Robert DeMaranville, Amy Meyer and Jeanne Sample were busy Wednesday morning organizing their rooms and preparing materials.

DeMaranville is a new teacher at Northfield Elementary where he will teach first grade. He previously served as a paraprofessional at Cedar Canyon and as a substitute for the district. He returned to Gering this year to be closer to family after teaching for three years in Texas.

On Wednesday morning, he prepared his bulletin board with black paper as he created a roadway for words.

As he continues rearranging the students’ desks and placing books on the shelves, DeMaranville looks forward to meeting his students.

“It’s going to be great,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. I really enjoy this age group.” With new lesson plans prepared for the school year, DeMaranville finds first grader’s passion for learning.

“These students are so great because the world is so new and their thirst for knowledge is like they’re little sponges,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to see them grow.”

Lincoln Elementary resource teacher Amy Meyer is excited to engage with a new group of students and see students grow.

“I’m excited because I’m working with kindergarten through second graders,” she said.

She previously worked with students in grades 4-6.

“It’s good to switch things up and have an opportunity to work with different groups of kids,” Meyer said. “You need a fresh perspective and you should switch things up so you don’t get stuck in a rut.”

As the resource teacher, Meyer helps students with resources as well as helping students who are visually impaired. To help her improve her craft, Meyer attended a professional learning community (PLC) training over the summer.

“It’s just working together with all the different teachers working together in the district toward common goals,” she said. “It’s good to have everybody on board from the paraprofessionals to the custodial staff because they all make an impact on the kids.”

The PLC brings the district together where they can work toward common goals at every level of students’ educations.

Third grade teacher Jeanne Sample was also in her classroom Wednesday preparing worksheets and hanging up materials on bulletin boards.

“I’m preparing fun activities and new seating arrangements,” Sample said. “We have some new curriculum, which is challenging, but I enjoy helping the students reach their full potential.”

Waiting in anticipation for students to make their way to their desks, Sample hopes her students find the classroom atmosphere welcoming.

“I hope they can expect a pleasant environment that is safe and fun,” she said. “There will be lots of learning this year.”

She added, “I like third grade because the kids are independent and have enthusiasm for learning.”

Sample is in her 12th year of teaching at Lincoln Elementary and her 14th year with the district.

While teachers are busy in their classrooms, Hausmann Construction workers are laying landscape in the front of Gering High School, finishing up the floors in the cafeteria.

Superintendent Bob Hastings said the project will be 80 to 90 percent complete by the first day of school.

“It’s going to be tight,” Hastings said. “We have a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but I’m 100 percent confident the building will be functional for the start of school.”

Furniture installation will take place later this week and early next week as they make final preparations before students arrive.

Hastings added the new entrance is open and visitors should follow the barricades between the storage containers to get to the front office.

If families have questions as they prepare their children for school, they are encouraged to contact their school office staff.

“We look forward to having students on our front steps on Aug. 16,” Hastings said.

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at lauren.brant@starherald.com.