Officials cut ribbon on new middle school; existing one renamed

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — Many firsts will occur at the county's two middle schools next year.

While the inaugural class at Warren County Middle School breaks in its new building, the first Hawks will walk the halls at the renamed Skyline Middle School.

County, town, school officials and future students gathered Monday to cut the ribbon on the new Warren County Middle School. Shortly after, a renaming ceremony was held at the former Warren County Middle School-now Skyline Middle School.

Being first is not easy, as there is "no math, no blueprint, no history," Warren County Middle School Principal Amy Gubler said. "Everyone here will start as a rookie."

Teachers and staff at the school have an "amazing opportunity" to usher in a culture for following generations, Gubler said.

She encouraged staff to accept the challenge of creating an environment that awards motivated learners and appreciates individual differences.

"My hope is that everyone here will accept the challenge of creating an environment that awards motivated learners and appreciates individual differences," Gubler said.

The new middle school was a long time in the making, and originally planned to open in 2009, School Board Chairman Catherine Bower said.

Although plans were delayed due to a faltering economy, Bower said support never wavered from citizens or the Board of Supervisors.

The school's completion tops off a series of facility upgrades that signify "there's no doubt that this board believes in investing in Warren County," Supervisors Chairman Linda Glaivs said.

The opening of Warren County Middle School marks the completion of the fourth project on the School Board's 2003 20-year plan, County Administrator Doug Stanley said. There should be no need for another secondary school for more than 20 years.

While the new school is in its infancy, the past is rich at Skyline Middle School, Principal Bobby Johnston said.

He noted the charming wooden floors, original chalk boards and ìother historical impactsî-such as being home of Warren County High School during integration.

Renaming was not simple as posting new letters on the schoolís front entrance.

Some challenges included incorporating new staff and repainting to display the new colors of green, gold and blue, Johnston said.

While new students will be amongst thousands to walk the halls, they will be the first Hawks, Johnston said.

The mission to provide a quality education remains the same, and Johnston said he looks forward to making new traditions while honoring the old.

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