PIERCETON — Summer break, for a teacher or a principal, has traditionally been known as a time for family, swimming, vacations, or maybe even working hard on a home improvement remodel. For Pierceton Elementary School Principal Mike McClain, this past summer was a chance to revisit one of his favorite passions, children’s fiction. McClain recently visited the sixth-grade class of Dana Clutter to share his enthusiasm with some of the students.
Clutter, who teaches reading and writing for PES, had recommended a book to McClain that instantly became a family favorite. McClain’s son, Moses, while peeking over his father’s shoulder asked if he could also read it, which quickly led to the pair of them reading it and it’s sequel this summer. The book, “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown has been recognized as A New York Times Bestseller, and an Amazon Best Book of the Year.
Speaking to the students directly, McClain sat in a rocking chair with the class gathered around him and said, “In my job as a principal, I have to do a lot of reading. A lot of it is non-fiction.”
He told the class he also reads books on leadership. He added that he decided this summer to get back to his roots. “Before I was a principal, I taught middle school reading and writing,” he said. “Fiction is totally my jam.”
Reading from the book, McClain spent the next half hour with the students, in the hope of instilling a passion for reading into their lives. He would visit the classroom three times that day to connect with each of his sixth-grade students as they went to their reading course.
For PES, this is the first year hosting sixth-grade students as a part of the new Whitko Community Schools consolidation. Previously, PES had hosted kindergarten through fifth grades and two preschool programs. With the edition of a sixth-grade class, students will be able to participate in electives such as band and choir. Additionally, the school will offer a sports line-up in cross country, volleyball, football, and basketball that will allow students to host and travel to other schools to compete.