Students in three Kane County districts start school year with new programs, facilities

 
 
Updated 8/22/2018 5:35 PM
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  • Kaydence Phu gives her mom, Stephanie, a big hug on her first day of first grade at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin. Students in Burlington Central Unit District 301, Geneva Unit District 304 and St. Charles Unit District 303 returned to classrooms Wednesday.

      Kaydence Phu gives her mom, Stephanie, a big hug on her first day of first grade at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin. Students in Burlington Central Unit District 301, Geneva Unit District 304 and St. Charles Unit District 303 returned to classrooms Wednesday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Vincenzo Gapastione poses for his mom, Yvette, before his first day of first grade Wednesday at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin.

      Vincenzo Gapastione poses for his mom, Yvette, before his first day of first grade Wednesday at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Jill Schreiber, new principal at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin, high-fives students Wednesday as they head in for the first day of classes. Students in first through 12th grades started Wednesday in District 301, while kindergartners will start Monday.

      Jill Schreiber, new principal at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin, high-fives students Wednesday as they head in for the first day of classes. Students in first through 12th grades started Wednesday in District 301, while kindergartners will start Monday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • New Principal Nathan Jarot greets students as they arrive Wednesday for the first day of classes at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles.

      New Principal Nathan Jarot greets students as they arrive Wednesday for the first day of classes at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Pauletta Donatello comforts her daughter Violette, 5, as they wait for classes to begin Wednesday at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles.

      Pauletta Donatello comforts her daughter Violette, 5, as they wait for classes to begin Wednesday at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • New Principal Nathan Jarot energetically greets Breanna Cook and Jayden Salcido, both 8, Wednesday during the first day of classes at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles.

      New Principal Nathan Jarot energetically greets Breanna Cook and Jayden Salcido, both 8, Wednesday during the first day of classes at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • School nurse Ann McCann talks to Violette Donatello, 5, ahead of the first day of classes Wednesday at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles.

      School nurse Ann McCann talks to Violette Donatello, 5, ahead of the first day of classes Wednesday at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Carl Brightbill reassures his daughter Mae, 5, before she heads in for her first day of classes Wednesday at Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva.

      Carl Brightbill reassures his daughter Mae, 5, before she heads in for her first day of classes Wednesday at Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Third-grade teacher Natalie Schramer greets Colleen Higgins, 8, Wednesday on the first day of classes at Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva.

      Third-grade teacher Natalie Schramer greets Colleen Higgins, 8, Wednesday on the first day of classes at Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

New principals, programs and facilities greeted students returning to classrooms Wednesday at Burlington Central Unit District 301, Geneva Unit District 304 and St. Charles Unit District 303.

In District 301, three new principals took the helm at Howard B. Thomas Grade School in Hampshire, and Country Trails Elementary School and Prairie View Grade School, both in Elgin.

Jeff Gerard, an elementary school principal from Oswego Unit District 308, replaced Principal Carrie Hahlstedt at Howard B. Thomas.

Graydon Engle replaced former Country Trails Principal Jeff King who resigned earlier this summer. Engle previously worked for Community Unit District 300.

At Prairie View, Principal Jill Schreiber replaced Daniel Schuth who also resigned in July. She joined Central 301 as an assistant principal in 2016.

At Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles, new Principal Nathan Jarot greeted students with high-fives.

Burlington Central High School debuted a new regional veterinary science program, an INCubatoredu business entrepreneurship program and a MobileMaker app designing course. The school inaugurated a 12-classroom addition, new veterinary science lab, new field house with a 200-meter track, new locker room and wrestling facilities, and a new cafeteria/kitchen -- funded through a $22 million voter-approved loan.

"We will continue to do some retrofitting at the high school next summer, adding on another lab for the veterinary science program as it continues to build up ... modernizing our classrooms," said Esther Mongan, District 301 assistant superintendent.

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