Madras Primary Principal Deborah HuntMadras Primary welcomed one of its own, Deborah Hunt, back as the school’s new principal this fall.

For six years, Hunt taught first and second grades at Madras Primary, before serving as the school’s instructional coach for the past four years.

“I love this school. It’s a great place, great community, and the children just light up the halls,” Hunt said.

This year, she said, the staff will focus on being positive and very welcoming to students and adults.

On the first day of school, teachers were stationed at every crosswalk, doorway and gate of the building, greeting kids and parents as they arrived at school.

“It’s a great way for me to start the day – greeting children in our new drop-off area,” Hunt said of the new bus drop-off road behind the playground, and the new roundabout and parking area where parents can drop off kids. Both are on school property, away from streets with traffic.

“Yesterday, students got out at 3:05 p.m., and the roundabout was cleared by 3:10 p.m, Hunt said, noting, “It’s a lot faster and much safer. We have a lot of staff monitoring out there and physically putting kids in cars.”

Hunt and her husband Doug have lived in Madras for 20 years, and their children, Brianna and Brandon both attended Madras Elementary. Their daughter just graduated from Madras High School, and their son is a junior this year.

She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education at Eastern Oregon University, and last spring received her administrative certificate from Concordia in Portland, and applied for the principal’s job.

“I always wanted to be a teacher. They bring such energy and life to children,” she said. While working as an instructional coach, she found out she enjoyed working with adults and kids and seeing how everything relates.

“Teachers work incredibly hard, and I want to be an advocate for teachers, children and families,” she said.

Goals this year are to increase communication with parents, and help them become involved with their child’s education. To accomplish this, the school will hold monthly activities for parents and kids. The first one will be an open house on Sept. 26.

Another effort will be to create two monthly bulletin boards in the hallway, one showing the standards students are working on and how parents can help through home activities, and another showing different achievements at the school.

Commenting on Madras Primary’s remodeled school yard, Hunt said, “The all new playground is just beautiful. The children are loving it and running and playing on the grass.”

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