by Andrea Cole

Reporter

Stow There was a new face at Indian Trail Elementary when students returned to school last Tuesday.

New principal John Lacoste said everything ran smoothly during the first week of school. He said he met many parents and students at Indian Trails open house, and now he is working on learning each childs name.

The first few days of the school year have been great, he said. I went to each of the classrooms to meet the kids and introduce myself. I hope to spend more time reading and doing activities with the kids.

When Lacoste began working in August, he said, the teachers and administration in the district made him feel like part of their family.

Everyone has made me feel very welcome: the superintendent, central office, the board and the staff at Indian Trail, he said. It is like a family here, everyone is working together for the kids. The staff supports each other.

Superintendent Edward VandenBulke said Lacoste, who was hired at a salary of $65,000, has the necessary experience in education to head up Indian Trail.

He comes to us with a great background in education and were just excited to have him leading Indian Trail this year, he said. I think he is an exceptional man, who will give us many good years of leadership.

Lacoste began his career as a physical education teacher in the Hilliard school district in Columbus, where he worked for nine years. He then worked at Westerville City Schools as the assistant principal for two years, and the principal for three years. Lacoste has been the assistant principal at Dublin Middle School in Columbus for the past two years.

Lacoste, along with his wife Jane, and their three sons Jonathon, 11, Joshua, 5, and Joey, 5 months, moved to Stow in July.

Lacoste said when he interviewed for the position, he immediately liked the school and the community.

Stow is very family-centered. This was one of the first things I noticed about the community and the school district, he said. You can see it from the schools to the local stores in town.

Lacoste said he is impressed by Indian Trail and does not want to make any changes to the school yet.

My first year here, I want to do a lot of listening and learning, he said. Then, if any changes are necessary, Ill meet with the staff and community to get their input.

One of Lacostes goals is to improve the communication between the teachers and parents, he said.

Were working together to see that each and every one of the students is successful and reaches their maximum potential, he said. Were all here because we want to make a difference.

Lacoste added that he wants to continue the success that former principal Robert Woods had at the school.

Every school district has its own personality, he said. Indian Trail has this strong sense of legacy and history and I want to continue that with the staff. I want us all to work together to make this the best school it can be.

E-mail: acole@recordpub.net

Phone: 330-686-3917