Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Teachers were treated to ice cream from United Dairy and Kupkakery cupcakes, courtesy of Franklin Heights Baptist Church, at the conclusion of Friday’s annual teacher convocation.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Nearly 1,000 teachers, school administrators and staff members filled Bonner Auditorium at Franklin County High School Friday morning for the annual teacher convocation.
Carla Barrell, a Franklin County High School science teacher and Teacher of the Year for 2014-15, encouraged returning teachers to be mentors for the new teachers.
"Every year is a new start," she said. "Teaching is not a job, it's an adventure. (In Franklin County) we are serving the whole child and we must work together in order to do that."
She also encouraged all teachers to do things that will feed their souls.
"Take your kids outside," said Barrell. "Take advantage of the the help that is available to you. Let's remember, we're taking children to a place they would never get to by themselves."
Barrell compared teaching to an iceberg.
"People only see one-fourth of what you do," she said. "But they don't see the three-fourths underneath the surface that makes up the whole success."
School board Chair Sarah Alexander offered words of encouragement to the teachers as well, calling the Franklin County School Division "one of the best school districts in the state of Virginia."
"You have the power to give gifts," said Alexander, "gifts of discovery, curiosity and the love of learning. Your school board stands behind you."
Superintendent Mark Church encouraged teachers to continue with the division's efforts to save energy and money.
"By working together, we have been able to save the equivalent of a tractor-trailer load of paper," said Church, who also charged teachers with leading their students to join in the green effort.
"Children are very important (in the green effort)," said Church. "What they learn at school, they take home to their families."
Teachers were also told that local organizations and businesses support their contributions to local children. Through the efforts of the Rocky Mount Rotary Club, the Franklin County Public Schools Education Foundation has received $4,250 in donations. Sponsors making a $500 contribution to the foundation include Angle Eye Center, Casting Logos, Interactive Achievement, Greg James of Lockman Insurance, Member One Federal Credit Union, SleepSafe Beds and Ferrum College.
Sponsors contributing $250 include Farm Credit, Danny Perdue of Minute Markets Inc. and Virginia Western Community College.
"All donations will go back into your classrooms," said Greg James, who is also president of the foundation.
During Friday's convocation, nearly 40 local agencies and support networks set up tables along the halls of the Ramsey and Law buildings to introduce teachers to services available to them and their students.
After visiting the informational tables, teachers were treated to Kupkakery cupcakes, courtesy of Franklin Heights Baptist Church, and ice cream sandwiches donated by United Dairy.
Assistant Superintendent Sue Rogers presented awards to the schools with the highest attendance for last year. The first-place award went to Ferrum Elementary, which received $5,000 towards instructional items for their school.
The second-place winner was Dudley Elementary ($2,500) and third place went to Snow Creek Elementary ($1,500).
The county's teachers have been working in their schools since Aug. 4, preparing for the return of students.
Phillip Poff, director of human resources for Franklin County public schools, said that over 160 people were interviewed for the 55 teaching positions that were available this year.
Over 7,200 students returned to Franklin County schools Monday, with nearly 650 teachers and paraprofessionals on hand for classroom instruction.