Marcole Feuz, four-year principal at Springville Elementary has opened the school to the community, and sent the school into the community.
SPRINGVILLE—Marcole Feuz has a lot to be happy about after the year she’s had. In April, she got married and is still enjoying the life of a newlywed, and in May she was granted tenure by the Springville-Griffith Institute board of education. But everyday she gets to enjoy something she loves most, the smiles and hugs of the students as they walk through the doors of Springville Elementary School.
The Colden resident is in her fourth year as SES principal, but is no stranger to the workings of the Springville-Griffith Institute district. Before becoming SES principal, Feuz was the principal at Colden Elementary, an assistant principal at SES and a special education teacher at both elementary schools. All since she began teaching in 1998. Oh, she also went through the district as a student growing up.
“It’s been very beneficial, the professional relationships are outstanding,” Feuz said. “And I grew up in the community, I know a lot of people and they know me. I’m one of those home-grown girls,” she laughed.
Feuz credits her position to Kathy Knauth, who encouraged her to pursue her administrative degree, as well as the mentoring of Scott Tellgren, who served as SES principal before her, which gave her insight into administration and helped her learn and grow in the field.
Since taking over the reins of SES, Feuz and her staff have worked to reopen the building to the parents and build a better relationship with the community.
“The bottom line is that the elementary school building is open and welcome,” she said. “To both parents and the community.”
Between working with the parent teacher association, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, as well as the Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord and the Springville Volunteer Fire Department, Feuz has been instrumental in bridging the gap between school and community organization.
The school is involved in Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! program, which motivates students to achieve personal reading goals and rewarding them with recognition and free pizza. SES has also participated in McTeacher’s Night with McDonald’s, a program that raises money for the school. And during Dairy Fest, the school tests out its artistic ability by decorating the windows of local businesses.
“We have teachers out in the community, we’re working to get that environment back, that the doors are open,” Feuz said. “The PTA is very active, so that helps, and our kids are out in the community as well.”
In addition to bringing the school to the community, Feuz also knows the importance of bringing the community to the school, sighting the strong volunteer program that helps serve SES students in many capacities. Each February, Feuz and the teachers invite local dentists to the school for National Children’s Dental Health Month. The school also hosts Farm to Table presentations, which helps students learn about their food, and how it gets to them after it leaves the farm. SES also partners with Springville Center for the Arts for interactive workshops and productions.
To further open the school to the community, and parents, SES is a participant in All Pro Dad Days, an initiative by Family First to help get fathers and guardians more involved with their kids.
“We have two fathers who lead the program, they speak on topics once a month and there are challenges for the students,” Feuz said. “It’s a great program that has seen tremendous growth in one year.”
As part of All Pro Dad Day, SES invites fathers to the school for breakfast with the students once a month to strengthen the relationship between parent and child.
Feuz said she feels it’s important to have that community and parent relationship as a school because the students who enter her building are soon going to the working members of the community.
“They’re all our children. We need to do everything possible to foster them so they can be successful,” she explained. “The students get a well-rounded experience because of the education they receive here and the extension activities we are able to offer. We’re dedicated to making sure the children have the skill sets they need. We strive for excellence.”
And although it sounds like the students at SES spend most of their time hanging with community members, Feuz knows the importance of classroom learning as well. Since the implementation of Common Core, SES has focused on math and ELA, but will shift to science and history this year. As far as the ever-controversial curriculum, Feuz said it has been mostly positive in SES.
“Common Core has seen a lot of a-ha moments, enlightening moments and positive moments,” she said. “ We’re working to make sure the kids have the skills set they need and that everyone will be on the same page at the same time.”
And as another school year is is about to begin, Feuz is looking forward to working with her staff and growing with her students.
“I’m very fortunate,” she said. “I have an excellent professional staff and fantastic students and parents.”