By Chris Eversole
Meadow Brook Intermediate School has that new house smell, and teachers are gradually putting their stamp on their new digs.
“We’re figuring things out, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it was a bit overwhelming,” Principal Mark Lebsack said as he handed out keys to teachers Monday.
Workers are installing student desks, connecting the driveway to the street and familiarizing themselves with janitors’ closets at the new school, located on SW 15th Street west of Czech Hall Road.
They’re unpacking their own supplies, determining where they want their desks and, in many cases, getting to know each other.
Lebsack calls the staff a blended family – with a third of the staff coming from Canyon Ridge Intermediate School, a third coming from Horizon Intermediate and a third being new to the district.
Lebsack is new to Mustang Public Schools himself, coming from Putnam City Schools, where he worked for 24 years and was principal of Hefner Middle School last year.
“I’m excited not only about the new building, but also about how the community embraces the school district,” he said.
Lebsack pointed to the statement of the district’s values, mission and vision on the wall of his office.
“It’s powerful that everybody is moving in the same direction,” he said. “We also want to create our own identify of who we are as Meadow Brook.”
While the principal is new to Mustang Public Schools, Assistant Principal Jessica Giblet and secretary Tami Cooper have experience in the district.
“It’s so beneficial to have their knowledge,” Lebsack said.
He also is familiar with Mustang schools because he and his wife, Diana (who is principal of Yukon Middle School), have lived in the district for 11 years.
One of their daughters attends Canyon Ridge Intermediate School, and their other daughter attends Mustang Valley Elementary School.
Math teacher Marilyn Norman helped open Horizon when it was new five years ago.
“I’ll remind the other teachers that we can tweak things as we go along,” she said.
The school has two wings, one for fifth grade to the back and one for sixth grade to the front.
An intermediate school offers the best of both worlds – elementary school and middle school, Lebsack noted.
Fifth graders learn, for the first time, to move from classroom to classroom for different classes.
All the fifth graders in a home room move together to the classes.
In sixth age, students have various classes, as they do in upper grades.
Some take band, while others take Spanish or technology. Gifted math students jump into pre-algebra.
Parents and students will make their first trip into the school through Camp Meadow Brook on Aug. 11, and the school will open, along with all Mustang schools, on Aug. 16.
In the meantime, Lebsack has his hands full.
“We’re working out the traffic flow for dropping off and picking up students,” he said. “I was just given the crank for raising and lowering the flag.”