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Science labs on wheels, other changes coming to Hampton schools

| Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, 3:48 p.m.
Colleen Hannigan
Colleen Hannigan
Rebecca Cunningham
Rebecca Cunningham
Michael Loughead
Michael Loughead
Hampton ninth-grader Ethan List carries out a pile practice pads with the other freshman Friday Aug. 12, 2016, during during a break in football practice at Fridley Field in Hampton.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
Hampton ninth-grader Ethan List carries out a pile practice pads with the other freshman Friday Aug. 12, 2016, during during a break in football practice at Fridley Field in Hampton.

Classes for 2.930 students will resume Aug. 25 in the Hampton Township School District under the leadership of two new top administrators.

New Superintendent Michael Loughead, former assistant superintendent of the South Fayette School District, started his $155,000-per-year job on July 1 and succeeds John Hoover, who retired June 30.

New Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Cunningham, former assistant principal of Fox Chapel Area High School, also started her $133,000-per-year job on July 1 and succeeds Jeffrey Finch, who went to work for the Grove City Area School District.

Other new administrators include Colleen Hannagan, new principal at Poff Elementary School.

New education tools for kindergartners through fifth-graders include mobile carts that serve as rolling laboratories for learning about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

“The portable labs will contain resources such as Bee-bots, Makey Makeys, littleBits, Hummingbirds and Chromebooks,” district spokeswoman Shari Berg wrote in an email.

“Students at the middle and high schools will have a hand in the design and production phases of the new carts during the first semester of the 2016-17 school year,” Berg said. “Under the guidance of the technology department staff, middle school students will design the carts and high school students will be responsible for the production of the carts.”

The school district also is spending about $500,000 on technological upgrades.

“WiFi (wireless connections) will be improved throughout the district, and there will be new laptops and other devices installed in the computer labs and libraries,” Berg said.

Among the school district's physical improvements are 20 new parking spaces in the sloped parking lot opposite Fridley Field.

“The expansion of the side parking area at Fridley Field will be suitable for use by the home opener football game on Sept. 2,” Berg said.

Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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