Seven employees hired to be the first at new Madera County elementary school

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Seven new Chawanakee Unified School District employees will be the first to work in a new Madera County elementary school set to open this fall.

"To be sitting behind this table and signing my contract and being part of the team is so exciting. I'm honored," new Hillside teacher Brooklynn Fuson said.

A principal, four teachers, and a custodian signed their contracts at the construction site of Hillside Elementary School.

Fuson said she's going to be teaching second and third graders when the school opens this fall.

"I'm hoping to instill that technology opens up a brand new world, because we are in a such a tech-based world. The skills they learn now, they're going to carry their entire life."

The elementary school will be one of the first projects to open up in the Tesoro Viejo master-planned community.

When it opens the school will have just four classrooms: a transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade classroom, a second and third-grade classroom, a fourth and fifth-grade classroom, and a sixth, seventh and eighth-grade classroom.

"We have four teachers on board right now and if the number of students come in that we need to open more classrooms, we'll add more teachers as the year goes on," Chawanakee Unified Superintendent Darren Sylvia said.

Along with classrooms, the campus will have open learning spaces. The school will also have a strong focus on all things science and technology as students follow a STEM curriculum.

Amanda Henson's daughter is already enrolled in kindergarten. She was able to meet her daughter's teacher at the signing ceremony.

"When I started reading about it and what their mission is, it coincided with my goals for her in school. It worked out perfectly."

Three school buildings will open in August. The rest of the school facilities are expected to open their doors by the end of the year.
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