School administrators emphasize creativity
Two Northview Academy officials have been busy since being hired, getting out in the community to meet their potential parents and students, understanding the significance of being the first principal and head football coach of a new school.
“I’ve been getting to know the community, the faculty and even some of the students, going to some of the community events in Catlettsburg and Northview,” Principal Greg Clark said.
Head football coach Todd Loveday has been doing the same. He said he’s been to middle school basketball games in the area to see some of the student-athletes in action.
“I met with the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Catlettsburg and the same with Northview Middle and Boyds Creek. I’ve had a large parent-player meeting, and I’ve met with the Northview Little League Association, just to get to know the people and the community and see what the expectations are,” Loveday said. “And it looks like it’s going to unbelievable with the number of people coming out.”
Clark and Loveday acknowledged that they’re in the midst of a unique situation. They’re starting from scratch, building a program from the ground up, and doing it their way.
“It’s an opportunity to come in and not just do things the way they’ve always been done, not that those things are necessarily bad, but we can be creative because of the facility and the opportunity to start from the ground up,” Clark said.
Academically, Clark wants to be innovative in scheduling classes and how the students spend their time when they’re in the building.
“We’re going to do some staggered scheduling and give the students some different opportunities from the time they get off the bus to the time they get back on,” he said.
Though the standards are the same as in the other Sevier County Schools, Clark realizes the new facility and state-of-the-art technology present opportunities some of the other schools may not have.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to effect some change in education that will end up bettering the students, with the technology and the community sports you have, with the teachers and the new facility, there’s no reason we can’t be the best school there is anywhere,” Clark said. “It’s all out there to be used.”
Clark said it would be more difficult to try to restructure an existing school than structure a new one from the beginning. “That’s the advantage we have here, and our students aren’t coming from other high schools, so they should be open to doing things away from the norm,” he said.
Loveday noted that the incoming freshmen will essentially be seniors for four years, since students will filter in from the lower grades.
“That’s an opportunity to teach those kids how to act on a daily basis, how to be a leader, not only on the field but in the classroom and the hallway,” Loveday said. “It’s like starting with a clean slate; you can basically build the school how you want to. It’s a chance to get a school started right.”
Loveday believes his players will be competitive from the start. They’ll have a freshman football schedule and a middle-school football schedule for the first year, then add junior varsity and varsity in each successive year.
“I think there’s a good athletic base out here to begin with,” Loveday said. “Northview has its feeders. I’ve got some good coaches coming with me to held and I think we’ll be able to compete.”
The academic faculty will mostly consist of transfers from Catlettsburg Elementary School and Northview Middle School, as well as a few from Sevier County High School.
With still more work to do before fall, Clark continues to gather ideas.
“We’re still researching, and I’m meeting with a group of teachers to put ideas together to see what works best for this community and the students we have here,” he said.