The Princeton Eagles soared into a new school year last Thursday. 

The small district along the Sacramento River serves about 140 students from Glenn and Colusa counties through the 12th grade. 

 “We’re off to a good start,” said Superintendent Cory Williams, about the 2019-2020 school year. 

Princeton schools underwent a number of improvements over the summer, including remodeling of restrooms, installation of new basketball hoops, and other small projects. 

One of the biggest changes this year is taking over the Glenn County Office of Education’s SPARK after school program at Princeton Elementary. 

“It’s called SOAR for the Eagles, but stands for Student Outreach and Academic Resources,” Williams said. 

The new SOAR program, which is committed to improving youth outcomes, such as better test scores, improved homework completion, and higher grades, is headed up by Holly Irish and Sandy Houtman. Sharon Hrivernicki is also on the SOAR staff. 

Unlike many of the after school programs in the region that have parents on a waiting lists, Princeton Elementary has openings, which Williams hopes might inspire more parents to consider Princeton as a good choice for their students.  

“We would love to have them here,” he said. 

Princeton has several new teachers on staff this year, including Natasha Stegall, who will teach fifth and sixth grade. Longtime teacher Chris Stillwell is back at the elementary school from the high school. 

New teachers to Princeton High School are Tim Street, who will teach English, and Claudia Cruz, who will teach Spanish and electives. 

The biggest change there is the introduction of the new learning center called The Nest, which will provide students with after school tutoring and a place to do their school work. 

“We are hoping students take advantage of it to bring their grades up,” Williams said. “It will have all the resources students will need to succeed.” 

Alex Hinely is The Nest’s first supervisor, and the district has a late bus at 6 PM to take students home to Colusa and Willows. 

Princeton High School’s largest project, the new agriculture barn, is well underway but not yet completed. 

“We will be having a fundraiser shortly to get plumbing and the rest of the animal pens,” Williams said. “The barn is up but it still needs a lot.”

Williams said the new structure should be ready to house animals by early 2020 when the FFA beef program begins. ■