Regina Sackman doesn’t hide her enthusiasm for her new role as principal of Springmill STEM Elementary or her gratitude for being chosen for the job. “How lucky I am to be working with our nation’s most valuable resource, helping to shape the futures of young children and planting the seeds for them to be successful,” she said.
Sackman was in and out of Springmill’s rooms on Tuesday, working with head custodian Les Vance and the district’s technology staff to assure that all will be ready for the opening of school on August 23. “The staff has been really great about coming in to get acquainted and share thoughts and ideas,” she said. “I am so grateful to be working with such dedicated and caring education professionals.”
Sackman, a former elementary classroom teacher at Madison’s Wooster Heights Elementary and Shelby’s Central School, most recently was at Lexington Local Schools, where she was an ELL tutor and principal intern. From 2010 to 2016 she served as education field placement coordinator/supervisor at The Ohio State University-Mansfield. A strong advocate of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives, she succeeds David Gilbert who left Springmill to take a position out of the district.
Sackman takes over at Springmill STEM as the school moves closer to Superintendent Brian Garverick’s goal of becoming a kindergarten-through-third grade building like Prospect, Sherman and Woodland schools. Springmill – Richland County’s only Ohio Department of Education-designated STEM school — opened with two kindergarten classes in 2016-17, then two first-grade classes were added last year.
Springmill STEM finished 2017-18 with 40 students in kindergarten and 34 in first grade. Two second-grade classrooms, each with a capacity of 20 children, are being added this year. Third grade will come in 2019-20.
“We have 35 children enrolled for second grade as registration continues toward the start of school,” Sackman said. “I am really excited about the development of Springmill STEM to a K-3 building. It’s one reason I applied for this position. The school is positioned for growth.”
Second-grade teachers will be Melissa Vogt and Jan Weithman, both of whom taught third grade at Sherman last year. The rest of the faculty remains the same: Cindy Rice and Nancy Niedermier in kindergarten, Beth Buchanan and Raymel Early in first grade.
“Working with Meg Strong, our math and science coach, we will delve further into the STEM concept as we use the science and math galleries here to integrate science and math into classroom instruction,” Sackman said.
While expanding to a K-2 format, Springmill STEM will continue to house the district’s pre-kindergarten program, which enrolled 116 children last year. “We have six units of pre-kindergarten in the building, which means we will have a lot of kids here,” Sackman said. “But what a wonderful way to build our STEM program. Our youngest students and their parents will see the opportunities that STEM offers and perhaps some will choose to continue their education here.”
Source, Photo: Mansfield City Schools