New Rowan-Salisbury School System teachers celebrated at breakfast
Kyle Griewisch graduated from Catawba College this spring and will begin his career teaching biology at West Rowan High School in a few weeks.
He said it was the enthusiasm for education that attracted him to the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
“When you talk to the administration, you can feel the excitement,” he said.
That excitement was on display — from the community as well as district administration — as business leaders from across the county and nearly 40 new Rowan-Salisbury teachers came together early Thursday for a breakfast at the J.F Hurley Family YMCA.
“We certainly want to celebrate new teachers joining the profession and coming to work in Rowan-Salisbury schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody. “I think it’s very important for teachers to know the business community supports them. It improves the culture in the building.”
The breakfast allowed teachers to familiarize themselves with local businesses and the services they offer, as well as gave businesses the opportunity to show their support of local teachers.
Chamber of Commerce businesses set up booths, and teachers milled around meeting each other, business leaders and district administrators.
“I just appreciate the teachers so much,” said Julie Weiss, master aesthetician at Greystone Salon and Spa.
Weiss and her coworkers offered the teachers vouchers for free services at the salon.
Pam Honeycutt, of Creative Teaching Aids, said the breakfast was a great opportunity to make teachers aware of the teaching resources and educational games they carry.
“A lot of teacher stores are closing,” she said.
“Every time we survey our business members, education is the number one priority,” said Elaine Spalding, president of the Rowan Chamber of Commerce.
She added that business leaders want their employees to live in Rowan County and for their children to attend Rowan-Salisbury schools to strengthen the local economy.
A strong education system does a lot to encourage that.
“It’s important for all the students in our community to have a good educational foundation,” she said.
“I am so excited,” Moody said, adding that she feels the same adrenaline she did at the beginning of every school year when she first started teaching.
During the breakfast, teachers heard from Cassie Thompson, the Rowan-Salisbury teacher of the year.
“Just a short four years ago, I was in the exact same spot as you,” she told the teachers, as she encouraged them to make a conscious decision to have a positive attitude with their students, toward their coworkers and to parents and the community.
She added that it’s easy to let negativity creep in.
“Starting with a positive outlook is easy — finishing is harder,” she said.
The breakfast was the culminating point of a week of training and preparation for the upcoming school year.
“It gets them acclimated to their schools and the district initiatives prior to school starting,” Moody said.
New teachers spent Monday through Wednesday in staff development, including state-required training and initiatives.
After the breakfast, they went back to their classrooms to begin setting up.
Lateral entry teachers have additional training Friday.
Susan Heaggans, beginning teacher coordinator, said there is so much to cover.
The training is the “hors d’oeuvre,” she said.
Aliyah Khan, a Rowan County native and Catawba College graduate, will teach at South Rowan High School this year.
She said the best part of the training was the tips she received from seasoned teachers.