It's hard to say who will be more excited about moving into the new Monterey Elementary School building when the school year begins Sept. 2 -- the students or their new principal.
"It's a really exciting time to be coming to Monterey," said Margaret Moretti, the school's new principal.
"I think the community is excited about the new school building and the new teachers we will have at Monterey," she said. "I feel like we're all going together on a new adventure."
Moretti previously served as a principal at St. Cecilia School in the Columbus Diocese, so she is familiar with the South-Western district.
"I've worked with people from the district before and everyone I dealt with impressed me with how focused they were on their students' needs," she said. "It's such a great, diverse community and I am familiar with the district's mission" to meet the educational needs of that diverse population.
"It's a place I wanted to be," Moretti said.
Before becoming an administrator, Moretti taught fourth grade.
She said she enjoyed working with fourth-graders because they were old enough to have some independence while still maintaining an excitement and enthusiasm for learning, Moretti said.
"I'm a learner myself," she said. "I still enjoy learning new things."
One of her main goals as an educator has been to instill in her students an awareness of the value of education, Moretti said.
Recently, while in a store, she met two of her former students working behind the counter. The students, now high school graduates, are heading to college with athletic scholarships.
"I've always told my students, 'You need to make sure you have a plan B in life,' " Moretti said. "One of these students, I have to say, wasn't as interested in academics as I would have liked.
"He told me he has a football scholarship, but his goal is to become a teacher," she said.
Hearing something like that is what makes education such a rewarding career, Moretti said.
Now that career begins a new chapter at Monterey.
"What I would like to do is create a safe learning environment in the school and get to know the students and parents," Moretti said. "We have a great staff here and I want to strengthen what the program they have already built here."
Dedication of the new Monterey Elementary School at 3811 Hoover Road is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 3. The new building is just east of the former school on the same parcel -- though the old building's address was 2584 Dennis Lane.