A pep rally of sorts. Thousands of teachers and staff members from all the schools in New Hanover County pack a convocation at Ashley High. the Ashley High band supplies the beats while the choir provides the vocals.
The convocation is a powerful motivator for everybody here. It was also a chance to set goals for this school year: Like raising the bar for student achievement and incorporating the latest technology into the classroom.
But of course the highlight of the show: Welcoming the new superintendent of the school district, Dr. Tim Markley. Upon taking the stage, he received a standing ovation. Dr. Markley says when it comes to students everyone has a role to play. "Think about this the first person a kid sees when they get up for school in the morning is not the classroom teacher.", said Markley in front of a packed house in the Ashley High School gymnasium, "it's the bus driver who picks them up at that bus stop. if the attitude of that bus driver is poor then that student is going to start the day with that as the first experience in terms of education."
Administrators agree with Markley. "Absolutely, I think he laid out very clear expectations for the district. He's got a proven track record of success and I think a very clear vision for us." said Laney High School principal Al O'Briant.
The county's new school super says the high energy event is a sign the school system has plenty to celebrate. "Anytime you start a new school year there's a lot of excitement and you could feel it in the room and the energy was there. I'm looking forward to getting here full time and really getting my feet on the ground."