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FISD Faculty and Staff Kick Off New Year at Convention Center

FISD Faculty and Staff Kick Off New Year at Convention CenterFrisco High School teachers waved blue and gold pom-poms. Wester folks waved their Wester Wildcat Paws high in the air. Frisco ISDs many other schools showed their spirit with clapping and cheering or by wearing their faculty shirts. But no matter how they expressed themselves, FISD staff members, who are more than 2,600 strong, attended the 2005-2006 Convocation Ceremonies at Frisco’s new convention center on Thursday, August 11, and demonstrated that they are excited and ready for the new school year.

Ashlyn Cunningham, who will begin kindergarten this year and is the daughter of Wes Cunningham, assistant principal at Centennial High School and Michelle Cunningham, secretary at Clark, joined Coleman Garrison, 2004 FHS honor graduate, in leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Pat Garrison, coordinator of Student/Teacher Services is Coleman’s mother. Whitney Brazeal, a Frisco High School senior, and daughter of Staley Middle School teacher Tina Brazeal, sang the National Anthem. The event was also attended by the Frisco School Board of Trustees, with the exception of Laura Ellison, who was ill.

“The board would like to recognize all the teachers for the district’s Recognized status,” Buddy Minett, board president said. “We were the largest district in the state to obtain Recognized status. It is something we’ll have to work hard to repeat…Good luck this year.”

Dr. Rick Reedy, Superintendent of Schools, reviewed the district’s growth and talked about goals for the new year. He projected that the district’s enrollment could exceed 19,500 students this fall. He noted that 800 new employees, about half of whom are teachers, had been hired for the 2005-2006 year.

The guest speaker for this year’s event was Emory Austin. Austin comes from a family of teachers and is known for her motivational speaking to corporations and school districts around the country. Her grandson, Will Austin, will begin kindergarten in FISD this year.

Austin shared her dismay at growing up tall for her age, the child of older parents who seemed to always be at school to volunteer, and the burden she felt being called by what was then an unusual and male-sounding first name. She noted that the very things that seemed so unfair in childhood helped make her the adult she is today and that most difficulties had turned out to be opportunities for growth.

Austin noted that her parents had little sympathy when she would complain about her life. Their outlook was to look at the problem and find extraordinary ways of coping with it. “They would look at me and say, ‘isn’t that fascinating’?”

“I don’t care how sophisticated today’s kids may seem,” she said. “They are all trembling inside, thinking that blending in is the most important thing in their lives.” Austin urged