The Duncan Banner
Before teachers headed back to school for professional development, they started their day Monday with the “most important meal of the day.”
First Baptist Church hosted a back-to-school breakfast for Duncan Public School District educators and support personnel to kick off the school year. Students return to school Wednesday, but the teachers, officially began their year Monday.
“We’ve done this several years in the past,” Brian Pain, First Baptist pastor, said. “We enjoy doing it.”
Centerpieces on each table were school supplies that the church had purchased. Teachers were able to take them as a token of appreciation.
Several speakers offered words of encouragement for the teachers, including DPS Superintendent Sherry Labyer, who also included praise for the school band and the teachers. Duncan band instructors Jeramy and Dawn Haas and new assistant Andrew Orr, with the student band got things started with a rousing performance, including the school’s fight song, “Tequila” and “Evil Ways.”
“You had a hand in (teaching) those children,” Labyer said. “They take what you have given them. That didn’t come overnight. That didn’t come easy in some cases.”
Labyer said Duncan Public Schools operate as a team effort by all the teachers, administrators and support personnel. She said everyone works together and supports one another. That’s what makes the education process work so well in Duncan schools, she noted.
“We’ really is greater than ‘me,’” Labyer said. “I love ‘Team Duncan Schools.’”
She acknowledged that there have been changes in education over the years, and said more changes are expected.
“By working together, everyone will weather the storm of changes better than if he or she tried to tackle the education system alone,” Labyer said. “If we stick together, it will be alright. We’re not just a team inside the community, but outside the four walls.”
Labyer recognized that 50 new teachers have joined the district. She said that is the most new teachers the school district has had since she’s been superintendent.
In addition to providing encouraging words to the faculty and staff, Labyer vowed to substitute for some of the employees. She drew names for support and certified personnel to do their jobs one day each month. In all, she drew nine names for support staff members and nine names for certified staff members.
The breakfast also featured a presentation by Cindy Parks with the Chisholm Trail Arts Council. Parks worked 31 years for Duncan Public Schools before retiring.
“Thank you teachers for our youth and affecting our futures,” Parks said to the educators.