The annual event is a time when employees come together to meet new peers, enjoy breakfast, and hear from the district’s teacher of the year and featured speaker, often times a successful graduate of Mount Airy High School. This year’s Convocation had a buzz of excitement as employees, all wearing identical shirts stating “Every Child, Every Day”, started with breakfast and quickly began competing in a Goosechase. Goosechase is a digital scavenger hunt and in this scenario, the school who scored the most points won a free breakfast for their school. Staff members ran across much of Mount Airy High School seeking clues and completing missions. During the process staff members learned more about new employees on all campuses as well as what their peers did over the summer and who to call in the district regarding various topics.
Promptly at 9:00 am the auditorium of Mount Airy High School was full of staff members waiting for Board of Education Vice Chair Tim Matthews to kick things off. Following his introduction, Board Member Ben Cooke provided the invocation. As in years past, students were involved and this year Ellie Martin, sophomore at Mount Airy High School, welcomed dignitaries to the event. Chief Operations Officer Jason Dorsett introduced the District’s Teacher of the Year, second-grade teacher Mrs. Patti Bobbitt. Instead of a speech, Bobbitt put together a short video showcasing her thoughts. In her video, she noted, “People think schools just educate students. In Mount Airy City Schools, we build relationships.” Her video went on to use pictures showing how “These relationships create a family. We care as a family. We respond as a family. We love as a family. We reach beyond our walls to serve children and families.” At the end of her video, recent graduate and former second-grade student of Bobbitt’s, Omar Garcia, surprised her with flowers. Omar had a big impact on Bobbitt when he was in her class years ago and was thrilled to return and honor his teacher.
New staff introductions followed with over twenty new faces being introduced across the district. While staff had spent much of the time getting to know each other, district officials wanted staff members to hear from students. Public Information Officer Carrie Venable interviewed students from preschool to twelfth grade asking them one question, “What do you want your teacher to know about you?” The seven-minute video provided numerous student responses such as “I am a little talkative and squirmy. I don’t like to do one thing for a long time, but I work hard and I pay attention in class” to “Math is great for me, I was born to do math!”
Dr. Kim Morrison, Superintendent, followed the video with a question, “Aren’t our students great?” Morrison then celebrated the many accomplishments of the district, “Thanks to you, our staff, our students ate 240,480 meals, traveled over 72,000 miles by bus, and came to school over 95% of the time. Thanks to you, our children created over 500 STEAM projects, presented hundreds of problem-based learning solutions, learned multiple world languages, competed in numerous regional, state-wide and national academic competitions, played and sang thousands of musical notes, and won a million dollars in scholarships.”
Morrison ended with a message that the leadership team developed over the summer. “We truly believe that for MACS to be the best district in the nation that we must believe in every child, not just the compliant child, not just the child that loves school, but the child that hates school, the child that challenges you every day, the child that may have overcome many obstacles just to get to school today. Every child regardless of color, gender, or ethnicity deserves our respect and the expectation that they will be successful once they leave us. Mount Airy City Schools not only believes that we must LEAD, INNOVATE and SERVE but that we must do this every day with every child.”
Dr. Morrison then introduced guest speaker, John Formica. Formica, an “Ex-Disney Guy” and leading authority in the Hospitality Service Industry and organizational culture growth, is “America’s Customer Experience Coach.” As a former successful Disney Leader for many years, he shared incredible experiences, best practices, and proven Disney success strategies. He was inspiring and entertaining and helped staff members think of ways to create a “Magical” Disney-like Experience and Culture for students and families in Mount Airy City Schools.
Dr. Morrison stated that the purpose of Convocation is, “an opportunity for staff across the district to come together, get behind a common vision, and bond as a team to have the best beginning of school our students deserve.”
View Mrs. Patti Bobbitt's video by clicking here.
To see what our students had to say when asked, "What do you want your teacher to know about you?" click here.
To view the Goosechase highlights click here.