GOAL Digital Academy students

Mansfield students were back to school Wednesday at GOAL Digital Academy.

MANSFIELD – On Wednesday, Aug. 25, GOAL Digital Academy started the 2021/2022 school year -- the institution's 20th anniversary.

For this 20th year of operation, many things have been added to enhance students’ learning, including the hiring of 12 new staff members and the use of Final Forms for orientation, the school stated in a press release.

"As we welcomed students back to school, their health and the health of our staff has been of the utmost importance, so we have continued to monitor closely guidelines from state and local government," said marketing manager Casey Clark. "At this time, masks are recommended but not required.

"This year, we are thrilled that 12 new faces will be greeting students throughout our learning labs."

● Megan Moore: Grade 6-8 Social Studies Teacher, Marion Lab.

● Eric Uhde: Educational Advocate, Galion Lab.

● Richard Guins: 6th Grade ELA, 6-8 Teacher, Galion Lab.

● Michael Thompson: Technology, Mansfield Lab.

● Stephanie Andrews: Intern, Delaware Lab.

● Lance Hood: Educational Advocate, Mansfield Lab.

● Matthew Alexander: Spanish Teacher/Math Tutor, Mount Vernon Lab.

● Lyndsay Witmer: K-2 Teacher, Mansfield Lab.

● Chelsea Lee: Transition Coordinator, Mansfield Lab.

● Dakota Parrish: K-12 Music Teacher, Traveling.

● Sean Flannery: Technology, Mansfield Lab.

● Beth Pemberton: Special Education Aide/Tutor, Mended Reeds.

Just as the new staff will be helping students throughout the year, GOAL students started the year off right as the implementation of Final Forms streamlined the orientation process.

“Final Forms simplified everything, which has allowed our Educational Advocates to mentor our new and returning families," said guidance counselor Heather Allen. "It's not only about the nuts and bolts of signing up for school, but allows them focused, interactive one-on-one time with the kids, giving us a new fresh start to the school year."

GOAL Superintendent Tish Jenkins welcomed students back for the new school year with some special encouragement.

"As we step into a new school year, I think of renewed hope, joys of learning, new opportunities of exploration, reflection, growth and above all a spirit of resilience and gratitude," Jenkins said. "I welcome you to the new academic year that has come with a new hope. Hope that after the dark clouds of COVID 19, a silver lining of getting back to normal life from the new normal will appear soon.

"New normal is what we have adapted to in pandemic times."

GOAL Digital Academy serves 12 counties in Central Ohio with its seven locations, and celebrates students’ diverse learning styles, interests and talents by going beyond academics and providing students with well-rounded opportunities to meet new people and engage in their passions.

GOAL offers regular family education and networking opportunities and continually works to remove family or community barriers that impact student success.

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