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By KELLY RICHARDSON
HARDIN COUNTY — Summer often is equated with long, empty days of sipping lemonade and lying in hammocks. For students in the midst of their summer break, that might be true. But for school district employees, summer days aren’t quite as laid back.
Work continues at schools during the break, with maintenance and custodial workers, principals and teachers readying the buildings and themselves for the next year.
Maintenance and custodial workers have the task of ensuring the buildings are ready for the hundreds of students who will use them during the school year. Cathy Cross, Hardin County Schools’ maintenance supervisor, said summer days don’t slow down for maintenance employees.
“It kind of stays the same,” Cross said of their workload, especially because as custodians do their work, they find repairs that need to be made.
They also work to prevent future problems by maintaining and cleaning air-conditioning units and kitchen equipment.
John Millay, superintendent of Elizabethtown Independent Schools, said painting, landscaping, carpeting and tilework all are projects worked on during summer months.
Some of Hardin County Schools’ larger projects this summer are remodeling a trailer at Vine Grove Elementary School and working on the drainage system at Lincoln Trail Elementary School, Cross said.
Principals and teachers have different summer agendas.
Jim Holman, an eighth-grade language arts teacher at East Hardin Middle School, said he has been at home this summer researching for future lessons. In July, he’ll begin to get his classroom organized. Holman said he likes to get ready for the next year gradually.
Morningside Elementary Principal Kelli Bush outlines class schedules, hires new employees and oversees teacher professional development and summer school.
It’s still a busy time for her.
“I still take 10 minutes to eat lunch,” she said, just as she does during the school year. But the stress level that is present during the school year isn’t there in June and July. There’s more time to plan and more time to accomplish tasks that were planned for the day, she said.
Buddy Connelly, principal at East Hardin Middle School, also makes lists of what needs to be done in a day, and said the list can be completed during the summer. During the school year, with students, staff and parents needing his attention, the list might not be touched.
“My agenda can just be thrown out the window, even before I get to my agenda,” Connelly said.
Holman said it’s a sign of a good school and a good staff when employees come in on their own inclination.
“The time you spend, it pays off,” he said. These are some of the maintenance projects occuring at Hardin County Schools this summer:
These are maintenance projects occurring at Elizabethtown Independent Schools: Painting Tile work Installing carpet Field and lawn work Landscaping
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.