The auditorium at the LISD Performing Arts Center was a sea of Raiders red and blue. There was a lot of excited chatter as district employees gathered together after the summer break. Teachers, administration, staff, and special guests were treated to breakfast before the annual LISD Convocation. Vendor tables were set up with giveaways and games. Vendors and sponsors included Harbor Hospice (provided cookies), Jostens, Hard Bean (provided coffee), Altus, Education First Federal Credit Union, Farmers Insurance, James White – Texas House of Representatives, Best Med, MCT Credit Union and the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce. The event began with Boy Scouts Troop 181 leading the flag ceremony. The choir sang the National Anthem as everyone stood in reverence. Afterwards the crowd was entertained by a rousing performance by the drum line that energized the attendees.
School Board Superintendent, John Velastro, welcomed everyone back to work. He thanked everyone for making a difference and reminded them to take it one day at a time. “I am honored and blessed to work in such a wonderful school district with dedicated staff members who want to serve their community. Each year, we strive to provide better educational opportunities for all of our students.” – John Velastro.
Texas State Representative James White gave a speech that focused on appreciation and importance of the work that teachers do. Discussing his time in the military, he said that when he was a soldier in the army he leaned on what he learned in public school.
The ceremony moved to the awards portion and began with LISD Education Foundation awards. The foundation gave monetary rewards to teachers for various needs throughout the schools. Some received money for math projects, sensory exploration, iPads, science projects, and Dell Chromebooks.
Next, service awards were announced beginning with awards for five years of service and ending with 35 years of service. There were two 35-year employees and those ladies received a standing ovation; Patti Roberts and Mary Paine.
At the end of the ceremony attendees were given a presentation by Karen McCullough, a renowned motivational business speaker. McCullough’s presentation concentrated on encouraging everyone to embrace change.
The program ended, releasing staff to prepare for the district’s first day of school on Monday, August 22.