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NAMPA -- School starts Monday morning in Nampa, and the new superintendent, David Peterson, has been in his new position just a month and a half.

This week, he went school to school and spoke to the teachers about his goals for the year. First, he wants to create a more cohesive district.

"It's getting more clear about what our expectations are for every student in every grade, improving our professional practice across the whole system, making sure that we're not letting kids' life situations being an excuse for us being successful with them and strategies that we can use to do that, and then just creating a better connected system because we don't have one right now," Peterson said.

Peterson is well-aware of the financial background in the district and says the people who have worked to clean up the accounting error and huge budget shortfall have done a good job so far. He says all of the cuts have put the district in the black for the last year, which couldn't be said the year before. The goal now is to build up a better fund balance.

"It's a long process. We're not a bank, so our business is not to have as much money as possible, but we need to make sure we have a big enough reserve so that if a roof comes off or something bad happens or we run into a state funding problem, we can survive it better than the last time," Peterson said.

Kirsti Cady, who teaches English at Columbia High School, was encouraged after hearing the superintendent speak. She says the last few years have been difficult, but she wanted to stand by her district.

"I'm encouraged. I'm not only a teacher at the district, I'm also a product of the district. I graduated from Nampa High, so this is all I've ever known. The last few years, they were kind of sad for me. Because I know how great this district can be and how great it is," Cady said. "To have someone new like him, who has the enthusiasm he does and has the kind of grounded personality and the reasoning he has, I think it's refreshing and encouraging."

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