Conger hangs ‘Flags of Friendship’


Staff at Conger Elementary School recently hung up “Flags of Friendship” in the school’s cafeteria to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of students at the school.

Principal Mary Krell said the school started the idea last year and was able to hang up 10 flags over the break to signify the different countries that were home to staff members and students at Conger. Krell said she hopes students use the flags as an chance to learn about other places and cultures.

“I love opportunities for students to be able to learn about the world as a whole, even if they don’t have the opportunity to travel outside of Ohio or the United States, to understand that the world is not just Delaware, Ohio. There are so many different experiences, traditions and special things that a lot of our families have,” Krell said.

She added one of her goals as the principal at Conger is to make students feel like they are part of a family at the school.

“I take great pride in and put a huge emphasis on all of our students feeling like part of our Conger family,” Krell said Tuesday. “We are one giant family. Within each of our classrooms it’s smaller families, but we’re all connected. Part of that is being able to get to know and understand each other and celebrate how we all have something to offer to our school community.”

In addition to the flags in the cafeteria, one wall also has information about each flag and its country of origin. Krell said the cafeteria was chosen instead of a hall or classroom because it’s a place that all students come to during the school day.

“The cafeteria is a centrally located place,” Krell said. “What better way to represent our Conger family than with a location that every student comes to each day. It’s a place we have our families as well (during school events.) It represents what I want for our school culture. … We are embracing everyone, and we are one giant family. We want everybody to be able to be seen and heard as an individual.”

Krell said they are already planning to add another flag this semester for an incoming student, and the school continues to strive towards building connections and fostering a sense of community.

“As a building leader we’re continually looking at ways to build that Conger family we have and ways to be able to celebrate students and our families,” Krell said. “The staff here are so welcoming. They genuinely look for ways to connect to all of our students, and I think that is something that is so important in education. When teachers model that (behavior) in the classroom, then students see that is something important to the class and our school community.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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