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Convocation kicks off 2021-2022 school year

Cheers, high energy, inspiration and the right touch of irreverence greeted SCUC ISD employees as the school district held its annual Convocation at the River City Community Church Amphitheater on August 5th.

Approximately 2,000 employees attended the event to kick off the 2021-2022 school year, aided by a collaboration of Theater Arts students (who served as emcees for the event), band members and dance team representatives from Samuel Clemens High School and Byron P. Steele High School.

It is the first convocation to have all campuses present in one venue since the mid-2000s, prior to the opening of Byron P. Steele High School, a move Dr. Clark Ealy, Superintendent of Schools, says was done in part to have a return to “normal-ish”, countering the forced isolation of the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finding bright spots from a challenging 2020-21 school year, Dr. Ealy stated the pandemic has brought about changes for good. “We learned that we can adapt and change quickly,” Ealy said. “Any new practice doesn’t have to go through a dizzying series of processes and bureaucracy to get approval.”

Innovation will now be a necessity going forward. “We had to try things that we had never even thought of,” Ealy said. “…we cannot be looking over people’s shoulders, searching for what doesn’t work, saying things like, ‘we have always done it that way.’ SCUC ISD students can be a part of that solution.”

Inspiration was drawn from guest speakers Rashunda Reid, fourth third grade teacher at Watts Elementary School, who maintained her spirit of gratitude despite a series of health issues and personal loss; Clemens graduate CJ Castellano, who gained motivation from a Community in Schools mentor during difficult circumstances to become a paramedic; and Scott Flanagan, fourth grade teacher and SCUC ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, who encouraged educators to continue to make a difference in the world’s most influential profession.

Additional highlights at the Convocation include Years of Service Awards, handed out to employees who have completed 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of employment in SCUC ISD.

Our thanks to Schertz Bank & Trust for underwriting most of the expenses associated with the annual Convocation, and H-E-B, which donated five coolers full of school supplies at a cost of nearly $400 each. Five schoolteachers were selected at random to receive the coolers to distribute the materials.

PHOTOS

Acknowledgements:

SCUC ISD Board of Trustees

Cannon Lamar – emcee, Samuel Clemens HS

Emily Treviño – emcee, Samuel Clemens HS

Devin Bosch – emcee, Samuel Clemens HS

Sarah Swink – emcee, Byron P. Steele HS

Gillian Graver – emcee, Byron P. Steele HS

Debbie Adkison

Mike Lipe

Paige Burrows

Melinda Sweet

Dr. Karla Burkholder

Seven Barnwell

2021 Convocation Planning Team

Kelly Kovacs

River City Church

Sean Azzaro – senior pastor

Joanna Shaw – Amphitheater Office Manager

Schertz Bank & Trust

Roy Richard, Jr. – Chairman of the Board

Mark Sunderman – Bank President

Jim Wolverton – Member, Board of Directors