About 1,500 teachers new to Dallas ISD were welcomed with pep-rally fervor on Wednesday, Aug. 8, during the annual New Teacher Academy.
Student performances were a large part of the event. Cheerleaders from L.G. Pinkston High School greeted the new teachers as they entered the Music Hall at Fair Park. As the Hillcrest High School JROTC color guard presented the colors, Charles Rice Learning Center fifth-grader Skye Turner led the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas pledge. The Carter High School band pumped up the crowd, and the Skyline High School drill team entertained – all before lunch. In the afternoon, members of the Townview Choir, W.T. White Dance Company and Stockard Middle School Mariachi performed.
The teachers heard from Board President Edwin Flores, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and keynote speaker Dr. Ernest Morrell, an accomplished author and the director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame. They also heard from district officials on the nuts and bolts of teaching in Dallas ISD, as well as learning about employee benefits. Before a “block party” to close the event, 2017 Teachers of the Year Beth Poquette Drews, Nedra Johnson and Josue Tamarez Torres offered words of encouragement and advice.
Wednesday’s event was a general orientation. During the previous two days, new teachers focused on professional development in their content areas at W.H. Adamson and Wilmer-Hutchins high schools.