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Annual Frisco Chamber New Teacher Breakfast Greets New FISD Hires(August 28, 2007)

Chamber breakfastWakeland High School cafeteria was bursting at the seams as the annual new teacher breakfast hosted by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce and underwritten by title sponsor Texans Credit Union and host sponsor Frisco Independent School District was celebrated Thursday, August 16.

More than 500 new teachers have been hired to begin the new school year, according to information provided by David Boles and Ronnie Elmore of  FISD Human Resources Department of Frisco Independent School District. That number does not include all of the new bus drivers, food service workers, receptionists, and other paraprofessional jobs required to keep FISD running. FISD continues to be one of the major employers in Frisco.

Chamber members shared the responsibility for sponsoring individual teachers and providing items for goody bags and door prizes. EDS Credit Union sponsored 50 or more teachers this year. Other chamber members such as Capital One, Centennial Medical Center/Tenet Health System, Chalmers Wellness Group, James Fomby Re/Max Premier Group, Jim Caraway of Primerica Financial Services and Lauren Michelson, D.O., P.A, sponsored 30 or more teachers. Chamber members served as sponsors either for one teacher, multiple teachers, or by providing items for the goody bags and door prizes. Door prizes included a cruise prize, gift cards, free eye exams, dental visits, an overnight stay at the Embassy Suites, coffee, doggie daycare, rock climbing, and gift baskets. Senator Jane Nelson sent along a Texas History puzzle, and a children’s book.

Keynote speaker was LaDonna Gatlin of Frisco, younger sister of the Gatlin Brothers country-western singers and a proud mother of a Frisco High School graduate. Gatlin has spoken to the new teachers for the last several years, telling them her very personal reasons for supporting FISD and giving a humorous look at how stress affects people and how ups and downs of life, like the sharps and flats of music, have helped her stretch as a person. Gatlin is a professional performer and inspirational speaker.

 Mayor Mike Simpson has told the new teachers who have come to Frisco over the years repeatedly, “You are working for the best school district in the entire United States.” His greeting this year was bittersweet, because this is his final year as mayor.

The Frisco Chamber of Commerce and FISD have a long tradition of  partnering to greet new teachers. The event began as a luncheon and was at one time held at Stonebriar Country Club. As new hires reached higher and higher numbers, the event switched to a breakfast held in one of the high schools.

Chamber president and CEO John Land says the chamber’s support of teachers and FISD remains important. “We live in a state where only 50% of our High School graduates ever attempt to go to college, and of that group, only 20% graduate. That places a huge emphasis on the skills, values and work ethic our young people are learning while they are in the hands of our teachers. As our district is growing at a rate of five new schools a year, we want to do everything we can to recruit, welcome and retain the best minds in education.”