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Motivational speaker gets educators fired up (video)

By Carolina Astrain
Aug. 16, 2013 at 3:16 a.m.

Motivational speaker Aric Bostick draws laughter and tears from teachers attending the Victoria school district convocation. Get Fired Up was the theme of the annual event held before the new school year begins.

High-fives and smiles from Victoria school district employees to the tune of "Footloose" filled the Faith Family Church auditorium on Friday.

Aric Bostick hopped onto stage and lit the room on fire after a few introductory words from superintendent Robert Jaklich and school board president Tami Keeling.

The San Antonio native shared his story about his troubled childhood.

"I came from a broken family," Bostick said. "But here's the good news - I'm not broken."

From there, Bostick went on to tell the crowd about his time spent as a high school teacher and about the basketball coach who changed his life.

Tedrick Valentine, the Mitchell Guidance Center's new principal, shared his story during a testimonial portion of Bostick's performance.

The Mitchell Guidance Center is one of the district's two alternative disciplinary campuses.

Valentine's story was similar to Bostick's because it was his coaches who also encouraged him to succeed.

"Those two individuals really inspired me to do what I do," Valentine said. "I come to work every day at Mitchell Guidance Center, and we truly make a difference in kids' lives."

Valentine asked one of his coaches, Anthony Monday, who was at the convocation, to stand and be thanked.

"There were times when I didn't think I'd live to be anything," Valentine said. "But to get a master's and graduate, to be the first kid to graduate from college in my family - Coach Harris, Coach Monday, thank you. I love you."

Waves of testimonial euphoria consumed the crowd as other school district employees shared their struggles with self-belief and doubt.

At one point, a teacher broke into tears while sharing her love for her co-workers who have helped her raise her three special needs children.

"I was very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm the teachers showed for their kids and what they do," Bostick said. "Victoria is awesome; you couldn't have asked for a better day with better people."

James Gallardo, a native Victorian, moved back home from Austin to teach art at Cade Middle School.

The first-year teacher said the convocation was unlike anything he had experienced before.

"I didn't expect to hear so many stories," Gallardo said. "And you can tell everyone was coming from an authentic point-of-view."

About two hours deep into his $6,000 performance and speech, Bostick ripped off a pink button-down shirt to unveil a Superman T-shirt and miniature cape.

He spoke to the employees about ways to improve their professional game and the importance of avoiding envious co-workers along the way.

"The more on fire you are, they're going to say, 'Hey, chill out; you're making us look bad,'" Bostick said. "Our fears, our failures, we've got to fly over them. I've never seen a Superman movie where he's carrying a lot of baggage."

Technology and social media are some of the biggest challenges teachers have to deal with today in the classroom, Bostick said.

"Kids are becoming less social and struggle more to develop relationships," Bostick said. "The challenge now is teaching them how to be normal people."

While much of his delivery was humorous, Bostick's message to live life in the moment was exactly what district employees needed, said the superintendent.

"I've known Aric for quite a while now. He came to speak at Harlandale when I was there," Jaklich said. "He helped us make such a huge difference there. He knows how to get it done."



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