Cave Spring Elementary School hosted a reception Tuesday evening in the cafeteria for students and their parents to meet the school’s new principal who answered their questions as well as shared his vision for the new school year.

Kyle Abernathy, former assistant principal at Model Elementary School, greeted community members at the door of the cafeteria and talked to his new students about the upcoming school year. Abernathy also had a newsletter for parents to pick up which gave some of his educational and personal background.

He will bring some new life, new energy and new blood to the school, said Melinda Jeffers, board of education representative for the Cave Spring area. Abernathy comes highly recommended she said, and there are many in the community who are looking forward to what he will bring to the school.

“He is a kid person,” Jeffers said as she watched Abernathy talk with families one by one. “He is a people person, too.”

CSES parent Brandi Evans said Abernathy started getting involved in the school as soon as he found out about the job. She said the first time she met Abernathy and his wife was at the Jumping Jackets event at the end of the previous school year.

Maria Barajas, mom of upcoming pre-K student Bella, said the event was very helpful for her daughter who will be starting her first school year at Cave Spring.

“She was a little nervous before we came,” she said. “But I think she will be fine now.”

Abernathy said he wanted the event to be low key and relaxed. Open house gets so chaotic he said, it become difficult to answer specific questions. He said a lot of the questions he got from students were about his height. Parents also got their chance to ask questions and express concerns about the upcoming school year.

Abernathy said he plans on expanding the school science, technology, engineering and math program at the school. CSES is the only STEM-certified school in the county school system at the moment, according to his newsletter. When school starts Abernathy will start the school on a two-year plan to earn its STEAM — STEM with art — certification.

The elementary school will have its open house on July 30 from 4:30-6 p.m. for all grades. School will start on Aug. 1 for all Floyd County Schools.