For the principal and his students it was first day of school jitters

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Newton-Newly appointed Principal Kurt Walton of the Halsted Middle School in Newton got to feel first hand what his students were going through on their first day of school last Thursday. While his students were faced with the task of adapting to their new surroundings, Walton was adjusting to his current job position. Like many students returning to the school from last year, Walton was already familiar with the school before his first day. Previously, he served three years as the school's vice principal. In an interview last Friday, Walton said that he was not having any trouble making the necessary adjustments as principal. "So far it has been great," said Halsted. "We had a great opening day, and I've already had the opportunity to talk to the children about my beliefs and expectations." The new head of the school said that his previous position as vice principal prepared him for his new position, because he now knows what he can expect from his students. "I love the middle school personality and energy," said Walton. I love how they love to come to school. At that age, you open these doors (to the school) and they're still fired up." Walton has been involved with education for the past 19 years. He spent 11 of those years as a social studies teacher and head basketball coach at Wallkhill Valley Regional High School. "In the middle school environment, every day is a new day, and it's great," said Walton. He said that while he served as vice principal, he would occasionally come home from work and tell his wife about some of the things students that age do. "She thinks that I should write a book, because you can't make these things up," said Walton. Over the summer, both Walton and new Vice Principal Karen Perez prepared teachers' schedules for the new school year. As of Friday, teacher and student schedules were still being revised. Walton, along with the school's staff, had to make decisions based on both classroom sizes, and the individual needs of students. This year, Walton said he will work to keep alive the old Halsted tradition of becoming a second home for its students. "Here, the students, teachers, and parents are all a family," said Walton. He said that a lot of high school students come back to visit their former stomping ground. "I think that represents something," said Walton.