By MORGAN MANNS
Thursday will mark a significant turn in history for Fostoria City Schools.
The community is invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the new Fostoria Junior/Senior High School building and the addition to the Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School building.
“It’s an exciting time as we start another chapter in the school district’s history,” Superintendent Andrew Sprang said. “It has been a long time to get from the planning of the campaign, election day, through the design phase to the actual structure coming out of the ground.”
The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. in between the current FJSHS and FIES. Thirteen students — one from each grade level — have been chosen to take part in the ceremony based on their participation in a friendly competition where they had the opportunity to discuss what the school and the district mean to them.
The students will be introduced during the event, which will be broadcasted live on the FETV YouTube station and Facebook. The ceremony will also be available on Channel 10 within a couple of hours.
In addition, band and choir students will perform during the ceremony, which is open to the public.
The community can expect to see work going on at both the FIES and FJSHS. One of the first visual elements, according to Sprang, will be the replacement of the roof at the intermediate building, along with construction on the new addition. The building will also receive interior renovations in phases over the upcoming year.
Community members will also begin to see the foundation of the new junior/senior high school building taking shape.
“There’s going to be a great deal of traffic on campus over the next year and a half as the construction occurs,” Sprang said.
The groundbreaking ceremony isn’t the only big news happening Thursday within the district.
Fostoria City Schools is hosting its PreK-12 Leadership Day across the buildings.
“Fostoria City Schools has a vision of our students being prepared to leave a legacy in life,” the invite reads. “We also value the relationship between our schools and local businesses and organizations.”
Over the past three years, elementary students have been invested in the Leader in Me initiative, which seeks to create a lifestyle educators and students can follow to develop leadership, culture and academics in the building and life. Likewise, the high school is a year 1 LEAD School. Thursday’s event will showcase student leadership and celebrate achievement through the initiative.
The day will begin with registration and breakfast in the board office at FJSHS at 7:30 a.m. Students will greet guests before hearing a presentation from Fostoria Junior/Senior High School students.
Visitors will then travel to Longfellow Elementary School where they will be greeted by students and have the opportunity to witness morning meeting at 9:15 a.m. Students and staff will share information about lighthouse teams before taking guests on tours throughout the building.
A parting proud parade will take place as community members leave the building to travel to Riley Elementary School, where students will discuss the 7 Habits and take guests on a tour through that building.
At noon, visitors will travel to the FIES building where lunch will be served during presentations from Leadership Teams as well as a performance from The TRIBE. After lunch, guests will hear from FIES students.
There will be time for Q&A beginning at 2:15 p.m. from parents, teachers and students in all grades.
Throughout the day, guests will learn about the preK-6 journey with the Leader in Me; the LEAD high school model; student action/leadership teams; applying the 7 Habits to enhance academics, school culture and home; student leadership notebooks, goal settings; and more.
“We would like for the community to see how the students are using the 7 Habits to develop leadership skills and student empowerment,” FIES Principal Kori Bernal said, adding, “Every child can be a leader.”
For more information or to RSVP, call the district at 419-435-8163.
Those who are unable to attend the event but who are interested in supporting officials’ efforts to promote leadership within the district are welcome to donate to the cause. Funds, which can be made out to Fostoria City Schools, will support student incentives, leadership initiatives and supplies for events.