Teachers gathered at Franklin County High School Monday morning to begin a new school year with the annual convocation.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
By LEIGH PROM - Staff Writer
Dr. Mark Church, interim superintendent of Franklin County schools, was greeted by a standing ovation Monday as he welcomed teachers back to school during the annual convocation.
"I am thrilled to be in this position working with you," he said. "We have an administrative staff, school board, principals and teachers that all do an excellent job."
But the "real meat of it all is what goes on in the classroom," he added.
"This division is great," added School Board Chairman Ed Jamison. "Be proud to say, 'I teach at Franklin County' because it's the best."
Mark Hudzik, with the Franklin County Public Schools Career and Technical Advisory Board, said two things impress him about Franklin County public schools. First is the strong culture within the school system. Second is the display of innovation and technology within the system, keeping the division "always ahead of others."
Hudzik, who works with Church on the advisory board, said, "I'm very excited to see Mark in this role (as interim superintendent). We want to keep that culture and innovation going."
Hudzik also thanked the teachers for being unsung heroes.
During the meeting, 34 new teachers, 17 of which are from Franklin County, were introduced by way of video. Philip Poff, director of human resources, told the veteran teachers, "You just got better with those that just came on board. They are the best of the best, and they're going to make us better."
Anitra Holland, Franklin County's 2013 Teacher of the Year, told her fellow teachers that it is important to teach students to "think for themselves in order to find success for themselves. We all have a story. We need to learn our students' stories."
Poff also honored teachers with superior attendance records. "Children need to be in school. The same thing goes for teachers," he said.
The top three schools with the best attendance of full-time staff for 2011-2012 received cash awards to benefit the students.
First place and $5,000, for the second year in a row, was awarded to Windy Gap Elementary. Franklin County High School was second with $2,500. Third place and $1,500 went to Dudley Elementary.
George Washington, director of technology services, also presented awards based on school staff attendance at the recent Regional Professional Development Institute for Technology at The Gereau Center. Educational services, ranging in value from $700 to $3,000, were awarded to Windy Gap, first place; Dudley, second place; and Boones Mill, third place.
Church challenged teachers with his closing remarks. "It's time to get looking forward and to the business at hand!"
The teachers were treated afterward to "Cupcakes in the Courtyard," courtesy of Franklin Heights Baptist Church.
The first day of school for Franklin County students is Monday, Aug. 20.