Convocation fires up district staff for school-year start
Starting a new beginning-of-the-year tradition, every employee of Elizabeth School District was invited to attend a one-hour convocation at the Elizabeth High School gym on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Part pep rally and part expectation-setting event, the convocation was supported by the EHS Student Council, Marching Band and Poms Team. The students welcomed staff members with music, cheers and games, including musical chairs (shown below and won by EHS Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Alana Wolner) and a Spirit Stick competition.
Each school, plus a team of central office staff members, made its case for the Spirit Stick with cheers, mascots, school-color wigs, megaphones, signs, choreography and whatever else they could think of to show their school spirit. StuCo members selected Singing Hills Elementary and EHS for the finals, and EHS prevailed to win the right to display the ESD Spirit Stick for the next year (there are rumors that Singing Hills would like to issue a mid-year challenge for a rematch ...).
Superintendent Dan Snowberger laid out priorities and expectations for the school year, acknowledged challenges the district faces and what strategies will be used to meet those challenges head-on, summarized a number of positive changes already in the works, and shared a pair of videos -- one to show the difference every teacher can make in a student's life and one about combating bullying. Assistant Superintendent Bill Dallas provided a sneak peak at positive educational-standards data from the past year (which cannot be released publicly until the Colorado Department of Education has completed its process of data verification).
Snowberger and HR Director John Rogerson honored longtime employees of the district for their career milestones:
- 30 years -- Joann O'Malley (EHS) and Tina Waymire (Central Office)
- 25 years -- Mary Peavler and James Wilson (EHS)
- 20 years -- Shauna Agee (RCE) and Teri Maher (Food Services)
Staff members who have been with the district for five, 10 and 15 years were also honored.
School Board President Rhonda Olsen encouraged everyone to have a great year. She was joined by Board Vice President Heather Booth, Secretary Mary Powell, and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Jon Waller. Snowberger noted that Treasurer Mike Calahan would have been there if not for a family vacation that had been planned before he was appointed to the board.
Also in attendance to show community support for the school district were Elbert County Commissioner Chris Richardson, Elizabeth Mayor Nick Snively, Town Administrator Patrick Davidson, Fire Chief TJ Steck, and Police Chief Jeff Engel who was joined by School Resource Officers Steven Herbel and Lyndi Burnley.
After the convocation, staff members invested the rest of the morning attending mandatory trainings on crisis preparation from Safety and Security Director Mike Newton as well as a cybersecurity session from IT Director Marty Silva.
MAJOR THANKS TO 2023 EHS GRADUATE MCKENZIE TUCKER FOR PHOTOGRAPHING THE EVENT!