From the Castle

The Ultimate Guide - Updated on 2/26/22

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Greetings from the Castle!


#DeeperUnity is about Inclusion & Belonging, Access & Opportunity, Restoration & Healing, and Relationships & Connections. As we continue to work on creating an environment that is safe, welcoming, and loving for each student at Thomas Dale, we welcome your engagement, commitment, and investment in your child's future and the future of our school community. We have an amazing school year ahead of us. Historians in the future will point to this year as the beginning of the new chapter in education. We are writing history together! Let's DO this!!!

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter: @GoTDKnights, Facebook: Thomas Dale, Instagram: @GoTDKnights, and Snapchat: @GoTDKnights. Our website is updated regularly for more information:

(NEW!) Week At-A-Glance

Here is what you need to know about this week!
Monday (2/28)
  • Food Truck for faculty and staff! (Main Campus Bus Loop, 11am-2pm) Come show some love to our teachers, counselors, and support staff!!
  • Pep Rally Parade during 4th Block

Tuesday (3/1)

  • Welcome, Dr. McLaurin!!!
  • 10th Grade Seminar Peer Leaders report directly to Room 104 for Seminar

Wednesday (3/2)

  • Drop Everything and Read during Seminar!

Thursday (3/3)

  • 9th Grade Seminar Peer Leaders report directly to the West Auditorium for Seminar

Friday (3/4)

  • Have an amazing day!

(NEW!) All My Love

You and your children have motivated me to be my absolute best. You deserve it, you demand it, and you inspire it. When you are hyper-focused on giving yourself fully to something or someone, you don't take time to calculate or evaluate your impact. As this chapter in my life ends and the next one begins, I hope the impact I've had on the students, faculty, staff, and families of the Thomas Dale community reflects the work and energy I've put in.

Our phenomenal successes and accomplishments over the past four years are attributed to the team that shows up day-in and day-out for kids. I cannot take any credit, it is 100% the team. It always has been and always will be.

I hope that each of you will save my personal cell number and email address below. Let's stay connected; if you or your child ever need anything, ask. If I can, I promise I will.


All my love,


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(NEW!) CCPS Calendar Update

April 1st will now be an EVEN Day.

May 31st will now be an EVEN Day.

(NEW!) CCPS is Seeking Advisory Committee Applicants

Advisory committees established by the Chesterfield County School Board are one way that community members connect with their local schools. Please consider applying for a current opening in your district using this link.

(NEW!) Mark Your Calendars!

Little Mermaid

May 4, 5, 6, 7 @ 7pm

Sat May 7 @11am (Sensory Friendly)

Sun May 8 @ 2pm

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(REMINDER!) Drop Everything and Read!

March 2nd Seminar is DEAR Time!

To celebrate Read Across America Day on Wednesday, March 2nd, Thomas Dale will be holding its first Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time. From 10:55-11:20AM, students, teachers, and available admin/staff at Thomas Dale will DROP EVERYTHING and READ FOR FUN. The whole school will be reading at the same time!

While we encourage students to have a physical book for DEAR time, they can also access free ebooks on the MackinVia app at CCPS recently purchased a lot of great, new ebooks! Need help accessing ebooks? Check out this slideshow.

Please encourage your students to bring in a book or check one out from the library before Wednesday! You can learn more about the importance and lifetime impact of reading for pleasure here.

Let’s get ready to READ!

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Prom Update: Outside Guests Under 21 Can Attend!

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(REMINDER!) Knightchella is Going on NOW!

The start of February means that Knightchella is ON! Knightchella is an opportunity for Juniors to meet with our business partners for them to discuss their career choices. This is a great opportunity for your student to widen their network, possibilities of an internship /externships and more knowledge of a desired job. The Launching Pad had been added globally to Canvas. Have your student continuously review the Launch Pad for updates. Not only do we want a 100% graduation rate, but for each student to leave Thomas Dale with a diploma in one hand and an opportunity in the other hand. Knightchella ends March 15th.

If you would like to participate or one of your friends to discuss their career. Please contact our Assistant Principal, Jeff Millner, at

Click HERE for your child to begin selecting their experience.

(NEW!) Communication from CCPS

Older Americans Month: Essay contest for fourth and fifth graders

Students enrolled in fourth and fifth grades are invited to write a one-page essay about a favorite living senior (60+) and how that person has influenced them. Essays may be submitted by the student, parent, family member or a teacher by March 21, 2022. One overall winner will receive a $25 gift card. All participating students will receive a certificate for their work. See the flyer for details.

VDH vaccine clinics planned

The Virginia Department of Health has vaccine clinics planned at the following Chesterfield locations in February. COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to the public. Please note, you must register in advance. Click the school name for the full clinic flyer with QR codes for registration, or click on the vaccine you wish to get to go directly to the registration page.

Saturday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Additionally, the Chesterfield Health District Rockwood Community Vaccination Center, located at 10161 Hull Street Road is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To make an appointment at the Rockwood Community Vaccination Center, visit or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

(UPDATED!) Mark Your Calendars

Below, you will find the important dates for the school year that we have marked. There are many more important dates that I will add and keep here as we know them. For example, graduation, exams, SOL testing, Prom, etc. are not yet set. As they are, this is where I will add them in addition to sending separate notifications.


  • 28th (Food Truck for Faculty and Staff), Feel free to stop by and show them your love!
  • 28th (Pep Rally Parade on Campus during 4th Block)


  • 1st (Welcome, Dr. McLaurin!!!!)
  • 2nd (Drop Everything and Read during Seminar)
  • 18th (No School for Students), End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
  • 23rd (SAT Day for Junior Students)
  • 29th and 30th (Cap and Gown Distribution, 4-7pm, Bus Loop Drive-Thru)
  • 29th and 30th (Junior Class Ring Distribution, 4-7pm, Bus Loop Drive-Thru)


  • 1st (EVEN Day)
  • 1st (Report Cards Issued)
  • 4th-8th (No School)
  • 15th (No School)
  • 26th (VIRTUAL meeting for families of ELs)
  • 30th (PROM)


  • 3rd (No School)
  • 12th (12th Grade Awards Ceremony for Community and Scholarships, 6-7:30pm)
  • 13th (12th Grade Academic Awards Assembly, 10:30am)
  • 25th (Graduation at 7pm, VCU Siegel Center)
  • 30th (No School)
  • 31st (EVEN Day)


  • 2nd (Last Day of School for Students)
  • 3rd (No School for Students)
  • 17th (Report Cards Mailed Home)

Graduation Book Fundraiser

Seniors can leave a lasting legacy at Thomas Dale while supporting the TDHS Libraries by participating in our Graduation Book Fundraiser. For a donation of $25, seniors will attend a party in March and choose a book to donate to the library in their name. A bookplate with their Name and Class of 2022 will be placed in the front of the book, and they will be the first to check it out. The book will then go into circulation for the rest of the student body.

If you'd like to participate, please return this form along with payment by March 7th. There is no need to purchase any books; we will provide new books in a variety of genres for seniors to choose from.

All proceeds benefit the Thomas Dale Libraries. We use these funds to purchase books and other educational resources, hold events throughout the year, and support literacy in the community.

Thank you for supporting the TDHS Libraries!

Scheduling Information HUB

We've consolidated everything you need to know about your child selecting courses for Thomas Dale for the 2022-2023 school year.

Check it out HERE!

Inside the document, you will find extremely important information and our timeline. Additionally, you will also see our Course Offering Sheet broken down by grade level. There is a tab for our Career Cluster Pathways - this a MUST-SEE!!!!

Scholarships for Seniors Green Sheet is Updated!

Get the 4-1-1 on Scholarships by clicking HERE.

When we have to miss school...

Have you seen the resources and guidance from CCPS? Check it out!

CCPS Program of Studies

We are well underway with scheduling for next year and have shared our information and course selection sheets. I wanted to make sure you also received the recently released CCPS program of studies information:

What to Prepare Before an Interview

As we come closer to Knightchella, review with your students this article on how to prepare for an interview. You will gain ways to research a company. This can assist students with talking points when meeting new business partners.

Knowing that you have an interview coming up can be stressful. However, if you use the time before your interview to prepare yourself, you will likely look and feel more confident during the interview.

This lesson will guide you through different ways to prepare for an interview. It will explain how to research the company beforehand. It will help you identify appropriate interview attire and will provide you with a checklist of items to bring along with you. And it will help you both prepare to ask the right questions and practice answering the questions you are likely to be asked.

Research the company

During an interview, you will need to show an employer that you know about and understand the needs of the company. One way to prepare for this is to research the company.

In general, you want to find out:

  • what products or services the company sells
  • who its customers and competitors are
  • how the company is doing within the industry
  • what the company culture is like

Researching tools

  • Use our Company Research Guide to gather essential information.
    Don't worry if you can't find every answer to every question. You'll likely use only part of this information in your interview, but it is better to go in with a good understanding of the company. Print it out, take notes on it as you research, and take it with you to your interview.
  • If you can't find information on the company's website, consider using Linkedin or another networking site to find someone who can tell you about the company.
  • If you are a student or recent graduate, you can visit your college's career services office.
  • If you are willing to pay for the service, websites like Hoovers, OneSource, and LexisNexis offer various types of information about a vast number of companies. If you don't want to pay, you may be able to access these websites for free through your local public library.

Other researching tips

  • Drive to the interview location beforehand—preferably at the same time of day as your interview—so you can get a good estimate of how long the travel time will be on the actual day of your interview. You don't want to be late for an interview!
  • The actual job description or job posting will likely contain information about the company.

Why Knightchella?

Greetings Knight Families,

One reason to sign up for Knightchella, is that your student can improve their elevator pitch. Review this article in which Matt Rhule, Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers talks about an elevator ride with a NFL prospect. During this short journey, Coach Rhule learned this young man would not be a good fit for his team. Data shows an elevator pitch will increase first impressions, lead to networking opportunities and enhance the speaker's confidence in an interview setting.

Elevator ride with Matt Rhule

Information about Knightchella is in a section further below in The Ultimate Guide.

Job Shadow and Knightchella

To each of our Thomas Dale community members, we sincerely hope your year has started off with hope and some exciting opportunities. For us, we are preparing our third annual Knightchella, and your student is personally invited!

Knightchella is an opportunity for our Junior students to learn from someone that currently works in a field they would like to work in. For thirty-fifty-minute session, the Junior students will be able to meet with professionals to go over their elevator pitches, resumes, professional social media creation, and even dive more into the professional's day-to-day work experiences to prepare them for the world that awaits them. Unfortunately, with all the mitigations by CCPS with field trips due to Covid, students will meet with a business partner at a designated day/time in our library either virtually or in person. However, students can use a student holiday, with your permission, as an opportunity to schedule a Job Shadow Day. No matter which avenue a student takes, this will help our juniors be equipped when they exit Thomas Dale with a diploma in one hand and an opportunity in the other hand. We want "No Empty Hands" for our students and we work diligently each day to reach this goal.

We are certain your student has talked about Knightchella, but maybe you are still asking, "Where did Knightchella come from?" Knightchella was born out of the excitement of Coachella for concertgoers around the world Coachella is deemed to not just be a music festival, but a festival where the best in music gather to perform in front of diverse fans in a thriving and creative environment. The anticipation that Coachella brings, creates an excitement that cannot be mirrored, hence, why this event is considered to be the best. Although we might not have bands, we are committed to create a professional volunteer roster of the best in our community and surrounding areas, to give our students a dynamic and elevated academic experience. From February until March, our professional partners and students can sign up for a time slot to make the perfect professional connection.

What can you do to help? We are asking you to encourage your student to sign up today! Additionally, we invite you to sign up to be a professional volunteer, as well as share this initiative with the professionals within your community. Also, we would love it if you had time to volunteer to help students in the library during their virtual meeting technically, or simply by easing any nervousness they may experience during their time with the professionals. With over 500 Juniors, we are asking for everyone to get involved with this event. Your partnership with Knightchella will help the Class of '23, be prepared for post graduation.

If you would like to be a participating member of Knightchella, you can complete our Knightchella Business Partner Form. Please do not hesitate to contact Jeff Millner, Assistant Principal, either via email ( or phone (804) 396-8272.

Canvas While Quarantined

If your child has to quarantine for an exposure or isolate for a positive case, please have them log into their Canvas Courses daily to check for work, learning experiences, or assignments loaded by their teachers. All of our teachers are loading their content in Canvas, and your child will be able to keep up while quarantined.


Senior ad space is 50% full! Though the deadline is 2/1, the deadline will be cut early if the space fills prior to then. Order your ad today by visiting and using code 4232. Sizes and pricing can be found here.

Early bird pricing for yearbooks ends on 2/1/22. Yearbooks are currently $65 and go to $70 after 2/1/22. Order your yearbook at using code 4232 today.

CCPSOnline Registration Information for Summer and for 2022-2023

For more information, visit

School Year 2022-23

Registration opens on February 1 and closes on April 29.

Classes start on August 22, 2022 and end on May 26, 2023.

Summer 22 Accelerate (6 Weeks)

Registration opens on February 1 and closes on April 29.

Classes start on June 20, 2022 and end on July 28, 2022.

Summer 22 High School Repeat (4 Weeks)

Registration opens on May 2 and closes on June 1.

Classes start on June 27, 2022 and end on July 21, 2022.

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Chromebook Lost/Damaged/Stolen Information

The first incident of a lost/stolen Chromebook should be charged $100, no matter the age of the Chromebook or the condition. Subsequent instances are charged at a depreciated value over the normal three-year replacement schedule of a Chromebook. Chromebooks in their first year would be charged $300, second year $200, and last year at $100. Chromebooks older than three years would continue to be charged $100 for each incident. Technology Support Analysts can assist with determining the age of a Chromebook. All students in grades 8-12 should have received a new Chromebook in Fall of 2021 as part of the normal cycle. Elementary Chromebooks vary in age.

Accidental Damage
A damaged Chromebook is reviewed by our vendor for warranty repair and damages are deemed accidental or intentional. Damage deemed accidental after vendor inspection is generally covered under warranty and no charges would be issued.

Intentional Damage
The actual cost of repair or replacement should be charged to families with intentional damage, not to exceed $185. A damaged Chromebook is reviewed by our vendor for warranty repair and damages are deemed accidental or intentional. Charges should not be levied until an itemized report is available from the vendor and sent to the school for review.

Replacement Accessories
Accessory items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear will be replaced at no cost to families. Lost/stolen/intentional damage should be charged as follows:

  • Chromebook Case - $17
  • Power adapter (charger) - $20

*Note that families may purchase an alternative power supply for home use, additional use, or replacement. The specifications are a Type USB-C, 45-watt power adapter. The link below describes an appropriate model. However, any adapter meeting the requirements will work.

Link to replacement adapter:

CCPS Calendar Update

At its Tuesday, Nov. 9 meeting, the School Board voted unanimously to update the current school calendar to make four days full workdays for school division staff and a holiday for students:

  • Friday, Jan. 14
  • Friday, Feb. 11
  • Friday, March 18
  • Friday, June 3

Signing Students Out of School Early

Hello Parents/Guardians,

The end of the day can be quite hectic as your student is finishing their class and preparing to be dismissed. We ask if you are planning on picking your student up early, please do so before 2:45pm. We also ask that you please bring a photo ID with you for security purposes.


Office Staff

Dues for 9th, 10th, and 11th

Class dues for each grade level can be paid using the links below! These funds help us pay for the activities and events throughout each year and also stay with your child's class through the four years of high school. Thank you so much for your attention to this!

9th Grade ($10)

10th Grade ($15)

11th Grade ($20)

Dismissal Procedures

If you are picking your child up from MAIN, please use the Staff Parking Lot. All students are directed by staff to exit the building from that side. Parents/Families will be directed to one of three exit paths (marked below). The black arrow will be the primary, the yellow arrow will be used once the buses on that side depart, and the blue arrow will be for exiting around the building like drop-off.

It takes EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US following the procedures. It makes the process difficult if we have people who ignore these directions and choose to do their own thing. Remember, Thomas Dale has MANY moving parts that we must coordinate at the same time for a safe and efficient dismissal.

  • West Campus: buses, pick-up, walkers
  • Main Campus, buses, pick-up, walkers, and student drivers
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Senior Parent Knight (Materials)

It was an excellent session, and we are so thankful for those who joined us live! If you were unable to join us, or you would just like to review the presentation, here's what you need!

Chromebook Exchange and Deployment

Did your child miss Chromebook Deployment Day? Not to worry!

Your child can get his/her Chromebook from the Chromebook Help Desk at either campus.

  • from 12:50-1:50pm at the Main Campus (Room 504)
  • from 2-2:45pm at the West Campus (Room 116)

School-Wide Expectations and Student Handbook

This post is in every update to The Ultimate Guide. I'm bringing it to the top as an Updated post, so that you see it again and take some time to review what it means to be a high school student. We predicted that we would need 6 weeks of school to establish relationships and community and to re-establish routines, procedures, and rules associated with the operation of a high school.

Some of our students - not all - are testing the boundaries of the rules and acting in a manner inconsistent with what I am positive you've instilled in them. I need your help with reinforcing that there are rules and expectations associated with being a high school student. This year's challenges alone are enough to make things difficult. None of us needs irresponsible behavior making it even more so.

Thank you for your support and partnership, and thank you for taking time to talk with your child about rules, expectations, and appropriate behavior at school. Below you will find two important links: the CCPS Student Code of Conduct and our Student Handbook.


I wanted to ensure the STUDENT HANDBOOK is included in every release of The Ultimate Guide.

In it, you will find our school-wide expectations (Kindness, Accountability, Respect, Engagement) as well as pertinent information regarding the operations and procedures of our school day.

Also, many of you will begin getting school clothes ready for the new year. Please take time to review the dress code within the student handbook.


We will make fee payment for extra-curricular and non-academic fees available online throughout OSP service. HERE is the link. Student athletic passes and Adult Fall Season passes are also available for purchase at this time.

The only academic and course-related fees will be the Dual Enrollment tuition for John Tyler Community College. Dual Enrollment fees can be paid using the link above.

Are You and Your Child Part of the School's Canvas Course?

Join now (if you aren't already)!!!

Thomas Dale High School Students and Families

Direct Link through Canvas:

OR Canvas Join Code: WPCL6C

Arrival Procedures and Maps

Arrival and Dismissal are 2 of our most hectic times of the day. It takes every single one of us following the guidelines below to make it SAFE and as smooth as possible.



  • Students who ride the bus OR walk to school will enter through Door 1 or Door 9 (Door 9 is reserved for students who intend to get their free breakfast)
  • Students who get dropped off in the morning will enter through Door 9
  • All students should report directly to their 1st period class after they pick-up their grab and go optional breakfast (except on Day 1 for Camp Squire, they report to Seminar-marked as Homeroom on their schedule)



  • Students who ride the bus OR walk to school will enter through Door 2; there are a handful of designated buses that will drop off at Door 33
  • Students who drive will enter through Door 5 or Door 2
  • Students who get dropped off will enter through Door 14 (Families who drop their children off will enter Main Campus from W. Hundred Road, drive around the right side of the building all the way to Door 14, drop off, and then continue around the building to exit out through Old Centralia Road. Vehicles arriving for drop-off WILL NOT enter Main Campus from Old Centralia Road - this is extremely important.) This entrance is ONLY for student drivers.
  • All students should report directly to their 1st period class after they pick-up their grab and go optional breakfast
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Dismissal Procedures and Maps

Dismissal is even MORE hectic, because it is all happening in a condensed timeframe!



  • Students who ride the bus will be dismissed from class first, beginning at 2:55pm (the first two days of school will be a bit earlier to allow the students more time to find their bus)
  • Students who walk OR get picked up in the afternoon will do so through Door 9 beginning close to 3:05pm



  • Students who drive will be dismissed beginning at 2:55pm (earlier on the 1st day of school). Students will exit through Door 2, 4, or 5 and report directly to their cars to drive off of campus immediately
  • Students who ride the designated buses at Door 33 will be released before 3:00pm as well
  • Students who walk will be released beginning at 2:55pm and exit through Door 1 or Door 2.
  • Students who get picked up will be released beginning at 2:55pm and exit through Door 31 or Door 33. Families who are picking up will need to park in the STAFF LOT on the east side of the building closer to Curtis Elementary; you may park in a slot or begin the line-up procedure, behind the few buses that are parked at Door 33. No vehicles will enter Main Campus in the morning from Old Centralia Road - this presents a safety issue for our students.
  • Students who ride the bus will be dismissed from their last class of the day by bus number beginning at 3:00pm. Students will remain in class until their bus is called, and then report directly to their bus.
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Bus Route Information

To get your child's bus information, please click HERE.

If you need directions on how to navigate the above link, please check out THIS DOCUMENT.

From the TDHS Libraries

Would you like to visit the library before or after school? Do you want to visit the library during the school day? Check out our library procedures.

Join the Get Knighted Reading Challenge! Read 4 Virginia Readers' Choice titles, and vote for the best YA book in Virginia. For more information, click here.

StudentVUE and ParentVUE App on Phones

Lots of folks are having issues with the parentvue app on their phone. That's because it has CHANGED! HERE are directions on what to do to fix the problem. You do NOT need a new activation code. The old one still works, you just have to reinstall the app and follow the directions I have given you here.

The URL has also changed if you use your computer for ParentVUE. For now, you will be redirected and can just bookmark the new URL. The URL is: - This URL also works for students!

Building Management Plan

For full transparency and to ensure every single one of us in the Thomas Dale community is on the same page, I'm including our Building Management and Operations plan so that you can see how we will operate once school begins. I am also including several infographics regarding different components of the school day below.

Some of the information/links in the plan will have teacher-only access for internal communication purposes. Where appropriate, I've updated viewing rights and a more community/family oriented communication.

Additionally, CCPS has created an informational site that will be helpful as well:

Click HERE to review our Building Management and Operations Plan.

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CCPS School Calendar for 2021-2022

Please check out the 2021-2022 SCHOOL CALENDAR.

One important note that we all need to be aware of is the start to the school year.

  • August 23 is the first day of school for 9th grade students
  • August 24 is the first day for all other students

Need to Schedule a Meeting with an Administrator or Counselor??

If you or your child need to schedule a meeting, please access THIS PAGE. You will have links to pick a time to meet with our administrative and counseling staff. A list of administrators, counselors, and student loads are included at the bottom of The Ultimate Guide - just scroll to the bottom.

Send a Teacher (or more!) Some Love and Appreciation

Our teachers are (and have been) working extremely hard to do something that has never been done before. It is oftentimes difficult for them to get their "buckets filled," and one way to do that is when they get a note of appreciation from others.

Take just a few moments, and you can have your child do so too, to send some teacher love and appreciation to the greatest teachers in the Commonwealth of Virginia!

Simply click HERE to get started, and they will receive and electronic copy of your note.


This year, our Learning Management System will be Canvas. All of your child's classes will be in Canvas, which he/she can access from Rapid Identity.

Your child will need to join the Thomas Dale High School Students and Families course in Canvas by clicking HERE.

Once your child has joined, I need you to join as well by following THESE INSTRUCTIONS. You will also need to use these instructions to become an Observer/Parent for each of your child's courses once they are loaded on August 15. The Student and Family course linked above is available for you to join now.

When you and your child are in the Thomas Dale Students and Families Canvas Course, make sure you go through the modules; there is one for students and one for parents. This is an important step to understanding Canvas.


Please take a moment and make sure all ParentVUE information is accurate. You can use THESE DIRECTIONS if you need to make a change.

Counselor and Administrator Information


HERE is the website for Counselor information.


HERE is the website for Administrator information.

  • Principal: Chris Jones
  • 9th Grade students with last name A-K, L-Z: Karen Lee
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name A-Di: Jeff Millner
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name Do-J: Jeanine Grabham
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name K-Ra: Heidi Hicks
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name Re-Z: Beth Clark
  • 10th-12th Grade students NEW to Thomas Dale: Catherine Mazzola
  • Coordinator of Special Education: Krista DeVauld
  • Specialty Center Coordinator: Jamie Barrack
  • Director of Student Activities: Ricky Talman