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Record Number of FISD Employees Show Up For Convocation(August 23, 2007)

FISD Fine Arts Teacher Pep BandFISD showed up for the annual FISD Convocation, literally by the busload, on Wednesday, August 22.  The annual event welcoming 3,600 employees to the new school year was held at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.

The event was opened by Jacqueline Kennedy, district-wide staff development director. She introduced Superintendent Rick Reedy who welcomed everyone for the start of the 2007-2008 school year. Words of greeting and encouragement were also delivered by the FISD Board of Trustees. Vice President Richard Beaver became emotional as he told employees how much he appreciates the work they do with all students, but particularly the ones who are at-risk. Brenda Polk confessed that as her twin daughters are entering high school, she has discovered she has had to learn a whole new language – she found out that the terms “dressing, meshing and hash,” were actually marching band terms.

The band was well-represented at the event. Director of Fine Arts, Daryl Trent, conducted the FISD Fine Arts Teacher Pep Band at the event. They performed several selections including the national anthem. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by three FISD students, Helen Oldham of Frisco High School,  Isaac Oldham of Rogers Elementary School , and  Tyrus Travis of Griffin Middle School.

As new hires are still being finalized to meet the needs of the fastest-growing district in the nation, Reedy conceded that he does not have a definitive number of employees for the district, yet but that it is more than 3,600. He praised everyone for the hard work they have done and urged all to aim for improvement in the coming year.

Noted author Chic Thompson was the keynote speaker at the event.

Thompson is the author of What a Good Idea! and the new book What a Good Idea! 2.0. Thompson brings extensive knowledge of both corporate America and public education. He is often employed as a speaker and consultant to assist organizations in improving creativity and innovation.

Thompson shared his struggles with dyslexia and described himself as an “A or F” student. Thompson’s break came when he met Bill Gore and became involved in creating uses for Goretex®, the material used in many medical supplies, camping gear, etc.  He later went on to work at Disney with the team that developed Epcot. Working in creative environments led his interest in helping people think creatively and solve problems.

Thompson encouraged teachers and school employees to employ the “Yes, and…” response to struggling students or to address issues within the district. He noted that most people when presented with a new concept respond with “Yes, but…” When a problem arises, he also stated that Deming’s model of asking why at least five times helps find meaningful solutions.  Thinking about what you would never do sometimes brings about the most amazing results, he added.

FISD’s employees will greet a projected 27,500 students in its schools this fall.