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Welcome Back Parents and Students

Altona Students and Parents,

Welcome to the 2016/17 school year.  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of students to fill our walls with energy and excitement.  

It has been a very busy and productive summer for our team dedicated to construction projects, taking professional development, enhancing our courses for students and hiring new staff.

Our Custodial staff and district Operations department were very busy this summer working to ensure our building continues to be top-notch.  Two main projects completed this summer were the new Rattler Den floor and the creation of our new I.D.E.A Lab (Innovation Through Design, Experimentation and Authentic Learning).  This new and exciting space is designed with a makerspace feel to encourage students to create, explore and tinker.  Students will have the opportunity to learn in this space through all of their classes.  

Our staff did not take much of a break over the summer.  Many teachers took classes to enhance their pedagogy and develop their technology skills to identify ways to modify and re-define learning experiences to help engage students.  Additionally, we had a large group attend the I.S.T.E. (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in Denver in late July.

We made a change to our schedule this year to include three separate lunch times (one for each grade).  As a result, we increased time over period 3 for a new class called L.E.A.D (Leadership through Enrichment, Action and Design).  Students will now have additional time carved out each day to support their reading for AR, complete homework and develop skills to be successful learners and citizens.  The vision of L.E.A.D. is designed to enhance our Leadership Focus:

Developing students who take pride in becoming creative lifelong learners with a strong sense of self by engaging in student-driven, meaningful community-based activities, in order to create student leaders.

Finally, I would like to give you a brief introduction to our new staff members.  You will have a chance to meet these amazing new team members at one of the Back to School Nights later this month.

Mrs. Kathleen Ahrens – has joined our math department to teach 7th/8th grade math.

Mr. Craig Atteberry – has joined our science department to teach 8th grade science.  Mr. Atteberry will be replacing Ms. Campbell who will now work in the IDEA Lab.

Ms. Melissa Clear – has joining our counseling department to serve as our interventionist.

Mrs. Tina Fredo – is our new media clerk and will support the library and IDEA Lab.  Mrs. Fredo  is replacing Mrs. Carter who is now our new registrar.  

Mrs. Emily Haagenson – has returned to us and will be joining our language arts team to teach 6 grade language arts.  

Ms. Sally Johnson – is our new kitchen manager and worked at Eagle Crest last year.

Ms. Emily Krochmal – has joined our social studies department to teach 7th/8th grade social studies.  She will be replacing Mr. Custis who is now our new Applied Technology and Robotics teacher.

Mrs. Julie Litt – has joined our math department and will be teaching 6th grade math.

Mrs. Carol Mcmurry – has joined our special education department to serve as a paraprofessional.  

Ms. Anna Mills  – has joined our science department and will be teaching 7th/8th grade science.  
Mr. Garett Paukstis – has joined our 6th grade team and will be teaching social studies and science.  

Mrs. Kimberly Watkins – has joined our music department and will be our new choir teacher.  She will also be heading up a musical production.  

Mr. Mazimayo Weekley – has joined our office and will be our new campus supervisor.

August/September Important Dates

  • August 12 – Schedules go live @ 4:00pm on Infinite Campus

  • August 15 – iPad make-up day (for any student that could not pick there iPad up this week).  9:00 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 4:00 by appointment.  Details will be sent out by Friday.

  • August 16 – first day of school for 6th graders, all new to Altona 7th and 8th graders report to Room B216 (FaCS) from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

  • August 17 – first day of school for all students

  • August 16 – 22 – Girls Volleyball sign-ups

  • August 23 – 6th Grade Back to School Night (6:00 pm)

  • August 24 – NJHS induction (6:00)

  • August 25 – picture day

  • August 31 – 7th/8th Grade Back to School Night (6:00 pm)

  • September 7 – Fundraiser Kick-Off

  • September 9 – Altona Parent/Community Leadership Team Meeting (9:15 am)

Warmest regards,

Jeremy LaCrosse



Altona Middle School