South Shreveport school starts year with new principal - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

South Shreveport school starts year with new principal

Kasie Mainiero is the new principal of University Elementary School in Shreveport. Kasie Mainiero is the new principal of University Elementary School in Shreveport.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - As the battle rages on between the state of Louisiana, parents, and Governor Bobby Jindal on the topic of Common Core, teachers are getting ready for a new school year.

University Elementary in South Shreveport will start the new school year with a new principal. Kasie Mainiero has been on the job the school's new principal for five days.

"It's been hectic and a whirlwind," Mainiero said. "But it's been very exciting."

Mainiero won't be the only change students will see when they come back to class next week. She has integrated a handful of new programs like drama, engineering and a new math and science lab. The programs are a way of giving more options with it comes to learning.

Charles Moser will head up the lab.

"As soon as people found out I was going to be doing the lab, they started donating things to me," Moser said.

Mainiero said the school's goal and vision is to have well-rounded students who are independent thinkers.

"There's so much research about how student achievement is directly linked to feeling a sense of belonging and to having activities that are extra curricular. I really want to make sure that I give the students the opportunity to be well rounded and to feel a place that they belong," Mainiero said.

Behind the excitement of new programs and a new year, Mainiero said she has bigger obstacles to face as principal. University Elementary was given a grade of "C" on their state report card. Mainiero said her plan is to turn the school into an A+ school within two years. 

And it all begins with a change in morale. Having teachers like 16-year veteran Brandy Pierce on the staff helps.

"It's a wonderful environment to work in. We all work together," Pierce said. "You can't help but be positive and energetic."

There have been concerns about overcrowding at the school, which is surrounded by some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Shreveport. Mainiero says overcrowding is not a problem. She said they do have a large amount of students, but their class sizes are smaller than normal. The ratio is 23 students to one teacher.

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