Editor's note: The following is 13th in a series of articles previewing the upcoming school year at each public and private school in Athens and Limestone County.
School name: Sugar Creek Elementary School
Principal: Cleo Miller
Amount of time as principal: Three years
Grades: Pre-K through fifth grade
Total number of students: About 660
Total number of teachers: 45
Total number of support staff: 35
New programs: "We're going to do DreamBox, which is a math program, and that will be help students better their math skills. Not only will they have to find the right answer, but they have to show the different strategies they used to get those answers."
What makes Sugar Creek special: "I think the one thing that makes Sugar Creek special is that not only do we celebrate the relationship with our students and teachers, but we also build relationships with our parents. Every month, 32 parents are recognized at our PTO meeting, and they are recognized because they instill leadership qualities and good character in their students.
"We select a student leader of the month from each homeroom, and the student and their parent are recognized at the PTO meeting. The child receives a certificate, and so does the parent. We celebrate students for good leaders in school each day, and we also celebrate the parent for having a child that shows good leadership skills ...
"We're always recognizing students for doing great things, but we never really think about the parents who have been there from the start, before the teachers, so we want to recognize those parents for their dedication and participation as well."
Primary objectives for 2019-2020: "To improve our reading and math scores, and continue to build relationships with our students and with our parents. We also want to revamp and continue the Leader in Me process as well."
What the principal is looking forward to: "The students coming back. We have several new personnel this year, so I'm just excited to see everyone come back and for us to start planning and working together and collaborating so we can do what is best for our students. Just getting back and getting everyone back together, welcoming new staff members, getting ideas from them, ... coming up with what we need to do to make our students excel and be proficient."