District Meets at Annual Convocation

Video by Stan Surratt

Convocation 2017-2018 was held August 16 in the PAC. Teachers and faculty from all around the district attended to learn future goals for the school year as well as listen to guest speaker Krish Dhanam. The meeting started off with some upbeat live music from choir director Casey Halbgewachs, assistant principal Bryan Penny, and assistant principal Ryan Tomlin as well as presentations from local political representatives.

“I was so impressed with the quality of music and speakers at Convocation,” Principal Valerie Payne said. “Our district has such talented people.  From the songs to the words of encouragement, our leaders really started the year off with a bang.”

After a few words from board president Kelly Cox, Superintendent Surratt followed up with a state-of-the-year address that covered STAAR scores, district accomplishments, legislative updates, and plans for the upcoming year. It also included $200 retention checks for the teachers, as well as news that the board had lowered tax rates and raised teacher pay for the upcoming year.

 “We’re gonna set some goals in our ratings, like campus rating and district rating,”  Surratt said. “We set goals each year, and it’s kind of funny because last year we set a goal to win the state championship in UIL academics and we accomplished that as a district.“I’m [also] excited about our great staff,” Surratt said. “We have so many wonderful additions to our teaching staff and many positions in the district.”

   The Education Foundation president, Vicky Frazier, as well as board members and new Foundation Director, Courtney Sanguinetti, also came to the meeting to give out prizes to teachers and show their appreciation. The Foundation raises money each year that goes directly back into classrooms.

“We are just so excited every year when we get our grant applications to see what new and creative ways our brilliant teachers in LISD have come up with to teach our kids,”  Frazier said.

  The special speaker for the day was Krish Dhanam of Flower Mound, Texas.  As one of only two executive coaches personally trained by Zig Ziglar, Dhanam is a motivational speaker who has traveled to over fifty countries and throughout the continental United States with his positive, humorous messages.

“It’s not about age.  It’s not about gender.  It’s not about ethnicity. It’s not about geography, demographics,” Dhanam said.  “What it is about is realizing there are 7 billion people walking the planet in our lifetime. There is not one like each and every one of us.  In order to be the winner you are meant to be, you have to plan and prepare.”

Another highlight of Convocation 2017-18 was the inclusion of a special video created by Surratt.  Called “Superintendent Carpool Karaoke,” various administrative team members spoke positive words and sang fun songs while driving around the district with Surratt.  At the end of the meeting, Surratt also encouraged the staff to have another great and successful year.

“Convocation really set the stage for what I feel like is going to be a great year,” graphic design teacher Lindsay Kelly said. “Our leadership does a great job of finding ways to inspire us to be the best we can be for our students.”