The 2015–16 school year got off to a festive start for Dallas ISD teachers and staff at Wednesday’s convocation ceremony.
Approximately 5,000 teachers attended the event at Loos Field House that featured synchronized dancing, discussions with teachers and students, and much, much more. Meanwhile, other teachers and staff gathered with their feeder patterns across the district to watch a live stream of the festivities.
Maria Arita, an Emmy-award-winning news anchor whose child is a senior at Booker T. Washington High School, served as the convocation ceremony emcee. She kicked off the official ceremony by thanking teachers for their hard work.
“It’s these educators in this room here that make everything happen,” she said.
Arita then talked with Scot Pankey, the teacher at A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School who last year led his students in a viral dance rendition of the song Uptown Funk, and April Jones-Sigadi, the director of Conrad High School’s award winning multi-cultural choir.
Next up, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa took the stage and expressed his excitement to be back with the school district. He told teachers and staff about his background as a student, teacher, and, later, superintendent with Dallas ISD.
“I am vested in this community, and I love what’s going on here,” he said.
After his speech, Hinojosa introduced Dalton Sherman, the Dallas ISD student who wowed audiences back in 2008 as a fifth-grader. Sherman, who is going into his senior year, reminded teachers and staff about the impact they have on students like him.
“Never lose the belief that what you are doing is making a difference in so many lives,” he said. “Keep making your mark, Dallas ISD, you are changing the world one day and one student at a time. “
To close the ceremony, Etana King, the 2014 MLK Gardere Oratory winner and Dallas ISD student, had encouraging words for the teachers.
“The things you do for us have the power to be remembered and impact us down the road,” she said. “Thanks for all you do.”
As of Wednesday, each of Dallas ISD’s 20,000-plus employees are back on the job. The district will welcome students back to classrooms across the district on Monday, Aug. 24.