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Scholars Leave Orion’s Back to School Bash with Fresh Haircuts

Scholars at Orion Academy’s Back to School Bash went home with a bag full of new school materials, and some even got a new haircut.
It was the first year of putting on Orion’s celebratory event for Principal Tonjarene Bronston, Registrar Ashley Dooley, and Admissions Representative Kourtney James. In the trio’s first year of working at the school, one of the traditions they decided to keep was offering a space for scholars to get a new haircut.

School staff at school event.
Admissions Representative Kourtney James, Principal Tonjarene Bronston, and Registrar Ashley Dooley all are in their first year working with Orion and put on a successful Back to School Bash.

Two local barbers and a local hairstylist came in to clean up scholars’ hair and give them some new looks. Dooley said scholars told the stylists what hairstyle they wanted and the hairdressers obliged.
Haircuts were not only a hit with the scholars, but also with the stylists.
”We actually reached out to some local beauticians and barbers and asked for them to come and attend this event to provide service to our students,” Dooley said. “I think they were all booked within two days of us reaching out to them. They were really wanting to be part of this.”
Dooley and James said the haircuts were important to keep in their first year putting on the event because it was a service they knew the community needed.
The event also brought in local vendors and gave scholars the opportunity to fill up on Orion Academy gear. Popular items were water bottles and sunglasses. The ice cream truck was also a hit with attendees.

Students getting Orion gear.
Scholars went back to school for Orion’s Back to School Bash and went home with plenty of Orion gear.
About 360 people attended the event in preparation of the new year. Dooley and James said they wanted the event to be more than a time for families to stop in and do paperwork.
About 360 people attended the Back to School Bash at Orion Academy.

“I think what made it so successful is that we wanted to kind of design it as a one-stop shop for families,” Dooley said. “We made scavenger hunt passports and it was a way to get them to stop at my table with registration, then they navigated to all of the different community resources. I think parents really appreciated that.”
Thank you for all of the hard work and dedication to your community, Tonjarene, Ashley, and Kourtney!

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About Orion Academy
Orion Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Cincinnati, Ohio, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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