Education Celebrations column: Giving honor where honor is due
There used to be a joke that circulated this time of year that centered on asking teachers what were their top three favorite things about teaching. The joke's response? "June, July and August."
Some teachers may still use that response, but I suspect you would also have plenty of teachers who would answer, "kids, kids and kids."
That old joke comes to mind as the end of another school year rapidly approaches. This is that time of year when you can see that many people in the schools are getting tired. And just as many of our staff members will use the summer to recharge, others will spend their summers continuing their education in university settings and in professional development offerings. It says a lot about a teacher who is willing to work over his or her vacation to improve his or her skills.
Earlier this month, we celebrated the dedication of our co-workers with the VISD Employee Service Awards. Coincidentally, our service awards were presented during Teacher Appreciation Week.
The night of the presentation, we had the names of 40 co-workers who were retiring this year on our list. Some were teachers. Others worked in child nutrition, maintenance and in support roles on campuses. Collectively, those 40 people had worked in VISD for 870 years. During their careers, they had given more than 1,000 years in support of children in Texas public schools.
One longtime teacher told me she was not really sure she was ready to retire because she loved her kids so much. One of her students asked her if she would come back for their high school graduation in a few years. She's been a teacher for 40 years.
The week before the service awards presentation, we hosted a thank-you luncheon for our VISD volunteers. It was almost like a reunion of VISD retirees in the audience. There were many people in attendance there who retired from VISD but never stopped coming to schools.
Half of the employees in Victoria ISD are officially called "teachers." But truly, every person in VISD plays a part in the education of our children. They may be the people who lead instruction, provide for a clean and comfortable environment, nutritious meals or safe transport to and from school or work with families to support their needs. Across our entire 612 square miles of Victoria ISD, our co-workers are making a difference in the future of our community.
When you add to the mix all the volunteers who are donating their time and talent in support of our students, we can see that Victoria is filled with people who care.
Some people have jobs. Other people have a calling. We thank them for being champions for children.
One quick closing note: If you know of a child who will be attending VISD schools for the first time next school year, please make certain the parents know they should preregister now. Parents may call any school office for preregistration information.
Diane Boyett is the communications director for Victoria school district. Contact her at email@example.com.