The Surry County School System kicked off the 2018-2019 school year recently with a celebration that focused on the effect educators can regularly have on students, the local community, economy, and even the world beyond Surry County.
The theme of Convocation 2018 was Surry County Schools: Making an Impact in our Schools, in our Communities, on our World, and throughout the program, there were elements of storytelling in addition to music by the Convocation Choir and Band.
“The decisions the Board of Education makes impact all students and the college-going culture of Surry County Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Travis L. Reeves. “This impact is building a highly skilled workforce in Surry County. Students are graduating from high school after having taken college courses for free. Students are learning skills through real-world experiences in CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses and through the rigorous and thought-provoking lessons you [teachers] create.
“Surry County Schools is the largest employer in Surry County and our footprint directly impacts the county economically while simultaneously impacting workforce growth and development,” he said, continuing on the theme. “This type of impact goes on to impact our world as we prepare citizens equipped to make their mark on the future by replicating that impact in our schools, our communities, and on the world.”
Other stories of impact included those from the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year, Hanna Holder, who serves as a cross-categorical teacher at Westfield Elementary; and the 2018-2019 Principal of the Year, Paige Badgett, principal of North Surry High School.
Both educators of the year sought to inspire the audience, along with storytellers; student Kurtis Johnson, a senior and football player at Surry Central High School; and Lance Corporal Colton Bruner, a 2015 graduate of East Surry High School.
“All of the stories shared a common thread; that Surry County Schools’ teachers and other educators have made a positive and profound impact, thereby encouraging students to make an impact on the surrounding community and on the world,” the school system said in a release about the convocation.
Students Emmi Draughn, a first grader at Cedar Ridge Elementary; Dan Lee, a first grader at Dobson Elementary; and Camden Roberson, a kindergarten student at Westfield Elementary, stole the stage when they welcomed new employees and told teachers “We are depending on all of you to make an impact on us.”
“Through our collaborative work this year, we will no doubt make an impact on the lives of students who may think they have no options because perhaps they can’t see the possibilities for success,” Reeves told the faculty, staff, and officials in attendance. “You will be their eyes. Through our joint efforts this year, we will influence the development of leadership skills for all and the implementation of a new strategic plan to take teaching and learning to new heights of academic success.
”You will be our students’ guides to help them find their passions, creativity, and voice for impact. Impact happens because of leadership, commitment, drive, and determination to make a difference. Great teachers, principals, and all 1,100 employees who make up our great school system, have a direct and lasting impact on the future of Surry County.”