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Hershey Public Schools



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News From Elementary Principal



          As Principal of Hershey Elementary, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone back for another great year.  We are all excited to have students back in our classrooms and hallways filling them with energy and enthusiasm for learning.  It is our mission to help every child feel welcomed, connected, and a part of our Hershey family.  Additionally, we strive to challenge each student to grow in his or her academic abilities.  At Hershey, we have great teachers who spend hours planning and creating classroom activities to engage our students in learning.  Our teachers utilize research-based best practices and analyze academic data to determine current skill levels and to set goals for growth and improvement.

                I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an elementary with such a rich tradition of education!  I have been dedicated to the field of education for ten years.  I have worked with a variety of students’ throughout my time in education, including my past days as a second and third grade teacher.  I am excited and eager to bring my skills as an educational leader to Hershey Elementary and work with you as a partner in education to ensure your child’s success.  As your Principal, it is important to me that everyone who steps through our doors; teachers, students, parents, grandparents; are excited to be here!  This attitude enables us to meet the challenges of academic excellence in a positive, fun, and nurturing environment.  My door is always open and I welcome your input.

        I want to personally invite you to attend our PK-6 Open House Night on Thursday, August 15th, from 6:30-7:30 PM.  This will be a great time to strengthen our Hershey community, meet teachers, other families, and learn about the upcoming school year.  I hope to see each of you next Thursday.  Students are encouraged to bring their school supplies to place in their classroom so they will be ready to go for the first day of school: Monday, August 19 for K-6 and Tuesday, August 20 for Pre-K.

        The instructional day for elementary will run from 8:15AM-3:35PM on Monday-Thursday and 8:15AM- 2:33PM on Friday.  To enhance student safety and ease traffic congestion, elementary students are dismissed 6 minutes earlier than Jr./Sr. High School.

        Outside doors will unlock at 7:45AM.  Students WILL NOT be allowed in the building until then without written consent from the office and/or teacher.  It is imperative that we have our staff in the building and stationed at supervisory posts before students enter.  Please make the proper arrangements to allow your child to arrive at school between 7:45-8:15AM.  Upon entering the building, elementary students will go to the cafeteria for breakfast or the west gym for wake-up walk.  At 8:05AM, all students will be released to classrooms to begin instruction at 8:15AM.

        Please check out our school’s updated website.  We hope that you will find our website helpful and informative.  School supply lists, upcoming events, miscellaneous forms, and any other information that may be sent home with your child(ren) can also be found here (http://www.hpspanthers.org).  Please feel free to contact myself or Stacy Carder in the elementary office if you have any questions.  

        Each year brings positive change.  This year it includes a new additions to our elementary staff.  We are delighted to welcome Mrs. Carly Arnett, our new second grade teacher and Mrs. Mandy Abbott, our new elementary library para.  Both bring a solid skill set that will challenge, yet nourish the needs of all students.

        If you have driven past the school recently, you may have noticed that our second phase of the playground has been completed.  The installation of the new sod will provide additional opportunities for the K-3 students to play numerous games without trudging through great amounts of gravel.

        With school starting that also means that the buses will be en route and hauling your children to and from school.  My job is to make sure our bus drivers transport your children the safest way possible.  If you ever have any questions or concerns with your bus route or incidents on the bus, do not hesitate to contact me right away.  All of our bus drivers are properly trained and understand they have the most important jobs ensuing the safety of your child’s transportation. 

        I am honored to serve as the Elementary Principal of Hershey Public Schools.  It is truly a privilege to be a part of a community where parents, teachers, and students care for each other and strive to build positive relationships that support academic and social growth.  Please feel free to contact me at (308) 368-5572 or at jared.thomsen@hpspanthers.org

Once again, welcome back!  Let’s make it an amazing year in Hershey together!



Jared Thomsen

Elementary Principal

(308) 368-5572



Empowering students to reach their full potential.

“Educating Every Student, Every Day, Every Way”