By Kelsey Ryan
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
More than 7,000 Joplin Eagles started class today in what students and teachers alike called a great start to the school year.
“I’m really excited this year to get my basic classes out of the way and spend my senior year with teachers I really enjoy being around,” said Megan Bell, a Joplin High senior and student council president. “I want to go to the University of North Texas for graphic design and advertisement and several of my classes are going to help with that.
Joplin High School has implemented a career pathway curriculum that allows students to start to focus on being college and career-ready when they graduate.
Superintendent C.J. Huff continued the tradition of taking a picture with all kindergartners, the class of 2025. He said he believes he will take his 3,000th picture with a kindergartner in Joplin Schools this year since he became superintendent.
“If I had one wish for every kindergartner in our schools, it’s that they go through their school career giving their very best, that they take care of one another, they support one another and that when they graduate from high school they go on to do great, amazing things,” Huff said. “We have a lot of programming that’s going into place right now at the high-school level and the middle-school level that’s being put in place for this group of kindergartners.”
“This is a digital age and these are digital kids. They don’t even know what a rotary phone is. Trying to develop an educational system that meets the needs of these kids while providing basic skills and higher level skills related to processing and researching and assimilating information is going to be one of the bigger challenges over the next 10 years.”
This year, all kindergartners received a new book on the first day of class through the United Way and Gunlock Heating and Air’s partnership with Reach a Child, a group that works to “put smiles on the faces of children in crisis across America through the power of books,” according to its website.