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Gresham-Barlow's spirited convocation gets teachers pumped to start the school year

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Gordon Russell Middle School staff were on fire at the 2019 Gresham-Barlow School District convocation. They even arrived at the event in a fire truck. Gresham-Barlow School District educators streamed into the big auditorium at East Hill Church, decked out in zany costumes and school T-shirts for the boisterous pep rally that is the district's annual convocation.

Hogan Cedars Elementary School staff made a rowdy entrance beating drums and wearing their black school T-shirts and green bandana headbands. Educators from Gordon Russell Middle School, in red shirts, donned fire hats, worked fire-related props and even pulled up to the event in a fire truck.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Cheerleaders from the high schools added spirit to the event. The educators entered the building Wednesday, Aug. 28, through rows of cheerleaders from the high schools, pom poms glittering above their heads. Costumed school mascots were on hand.

But, the event has a serious purpose too.

Superintendent Katrise Perera spoke to the crowd and acknowledged the teachers are "waiting to inspire and empower each student" in their classrooms.

Will Bowen, a nationally recognized author and motivational speaker, gave the teachers some communication skills to help them in their classrooms and beyond.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Superintendent Katrise Perera addressed the more than 1,100 educators that gathered for the 2019 convocation. Bowen's mission is to eliminate complaining from the world and shared some tips and techniques educators can use to diffuse and recast complaints into positive action.

Superintendent Perera praised the legislature for passing the Student Success Act, which will infuse $2 billion into the state's schools over two years.

She urged the teachers to "insure that investment in education becomes a success for each GBD student."

Perera said each teacher's goal is to give kids "future-ready skills that will allow them to be ready for any career they chose."

Successful teaching is "servant based and heart driven," Perera said.

In revival-style call and response she urged the teachers to repeat after her: "I believe all things are possible for each Gresham-Barlow student because I am their teacher."

She said "each student is capable of greatness because of you."

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Highland Elementray School represents.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - REY Academy has the muscle for the school year ahead.

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