Lumberton ISD welcomed staff back with a convocation that was also the beginning of the celebration for the district’s 50th anniversary.
The convocation was held at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, August 25.
The stands were filled with teachers and district employees; many donning new 50th anniversary shirts. The morning began with breakfast provided by the LISD Transportation Department.
When the convocation was underway, Boy Scout Troop 181 color guard presented the colors during the opening flag ceremony. Joining in the ceremony was the LHS Choir singing The Star Spangled Banner.
The Raiderettes put on a fantastic performance and the LHS brand treated the crowd to rousing music.
Next, a video paying homage to the history of Lumberton ISD and how far the district has come since 1968 was shown.
The video was narrated by Wade Mclean and the script was written by Gretchen Scoggins.
Five individuals who were part of the LHS graduating class of 1968 were recognized. Darrell Orr spoke, recounting his experiences during his school days at Chance-Loeb and then LHS. He said their graduating class size was 24. He shared that while at Chance-Loeb, they had three sports; football, baseball, and track. Many shared uniforms during games since they did not have enough for every player.
They did not win many games, but as Orr said, “With Raider spirit we fought hard, got beat a lot, but fought hard.”
Speaking about the camaraderie that they shared then and still share now, Orr said, “As a small class, there were no cliques, no rich or poor, we were all one. We worked together. That’s what we’d like to see instilled at LHS. We’re all one.”
Next up to speak was Cynthia Smith, graduating class of 1973. “We’ve come a long way because of the Class of 1968,” she said.
John Valastro, LISD Superintendent addressed the staff and teachers showing appreciation for their dedication, “I applaud you for your efforts.”
After describing each LISD campus’ positive attributes, Valastro said all of the campuses do great things. “We teach kids to be proud members of society,” he said.
Valastro continued to say the first 50 years were great and they have the “spirit of what it means to be a Raider for the next 50 years.”
“We will have good days and bad days, but let’s support each other. We are a family,” he said.
Valastro then directed his attention to the LISD school board members who were in attendance. “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of something so special, “ he said.
The Lumberton Education Foundation was represented by president Harvey Zernial. He said the foundation’s mission is to support kids and teachers. Since 2011, when they began giving grants, they have given $80,000 so far to teachers. Teachers from various grades and campuses received grants that allow them to purchase items for their classrooms.
LISD Human Resources Director, Anna Miller and LISD Business Services Coordinator, Stacey Hughes presented years of service certificates to campus principals to give to the recipients of each school. Primary School teacher, Sherrie Ray, received a standing ovation for her 50 years of service to the district.
Teachers and staff who were Lumberton alumni and returned to work in the district, were asked to stand and come to the front for recognition. There were numerous alumni and Miller said of them, “WE are so proud you have chosen to come back where it started.”
Before the convocation ended, organizers had a unique entertainer for attendees; a hypnotist. Dr. Jon Taylor, Hypnotist and Psychiatrist performed a comedy hypnosis show to the delight of the crowd.