First day brings excitement

CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth
Cameo Elementary fourth-grade teacher Laci Standifer takes a look at a game her student Israel Garcia is playing during an open house Tuesday at the school. This is Standifer’s first year teaching fourth grade here.

Tonya Garner: CNJ Staff Writer

Lacy Standifer has spent the better part of the last two weeks organizing her classroom and attending teacher orientation where she learned what expectations are for new teachers.

The lessons should come in handy today when she welcomes 16 Cameo Elementary fourth-graders for the first day of school for the Clovis Independent School District.
Standifer is one of 40 new teachers in the Clovis school district, according to first-year Clovis Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm.

With the help of two young family members, Standifer was busy putting the finishing touches on her classroom Tuesday afternoon.

“I like to give the room personality,” she said. “It’s fun being an interior decorator.”

Bright colored posters that clearly state the school and classroom rules adorn the walls of her classroom. She said she isn’t necessarily strict but does have “high expectations” of her students.

“I understand that kids might not have had a good breakfast or maybe had a bad night due to nightmares,” she said. “I’m flexible. I treat every day as a new day.”

Her goal for the new school year is to prepare her students for the fifth grade. She says she plans to learn as much as she can about the upper level curriculums so she will have her students ready.

“Of course I always want to work at becoming a better teacher, too,” said Standifer, who previously taught middle school in the West Texas area.

“This community really cares about teachers,” she said. “I have been welcomed with open arms.

“I plan to have a great year. I hope the kids are excited, too.”

Meanwhile, Clovis Christian began school Monday short on classroom space to handle a burgeoning enrollment.

Superintendent Steve Medeiros said the private school’s enrollment jumped to 270 this fall, an increase of 22 students from the spring. The school ordered two portable classrooms to handle the increase, but they failed to arrive before the start of school.

Medeiros said he expects them to arrive today.

“It’s great to continue to grow, especially when we’re getting ready to build our new school,” Medeiros said.

Clovis Christian expects to break ground on phase one of the project in about a year-and-a-half. The $4.1 million first phase includes an elementary school and gymnasium at 21st and Humphrey.

“One of the challenges as we grow is to maintain our focus on what we are and keep our Christian-centered environment,” he said.