FCPS Convocation was electric this year

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

FCPS faculty and staff dance to the electric slide at the annual Community Appreciation Breakfast and Opening Convocation to celebrate this past school year’s accomplishments. - Rebecca Chappell | Tidewater News

FCPS faculty and staff dance to the electric slide at the annual Community Appreciation Breakfast and Opening Convocation to celebrate this past school year’s accomplishments. – Rebecca Chappell | Tidewater News

Excitement doesn’t begin to cover the vibe that was present at the Franklin City Public Schools’ Annual Community Appreciation Breakfast and Opening Convocation.

The event was held Monday morning at the Regional Workforce Development Center and was catered by Mr. D’s Southern Catering and Kitchen.

School administration, staff, central office and school board members plus community leaders and many other special guests came out to support the kick-off to the school year.

Many spoke of their excitement and appreciation for the accomplishments that the district made this past school year and how they are going to strive to do even better this coming year.

Director of Human Resources and Administrative Services Gail Wade gave introductions for all the special guests and recognized everybody on how special they are to FCPS.

Chairperson Edna King spoke on behalf of the school board and directed most of her speech to the faculty and staff of the school system.

“We the members of the school board applaud you for the accomplishments of our students,” she said. “Our students have proven they can learn. Teachers have proven they can teach. Administrators have proven they can lead.”

Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn recognized her colleagues and stated, “The mayor can’t do anything without city council.”

She also talked about how she looks forward to this event every year and shared how awesome she thinks everybody is for attending.

Franklin City Educational Association President Felicia Briggs said, “I’m happy with the progress of our students and the community.”

She ended her speech with a song that drove everyone in the audience to a loud applause.

Franklin City Educational Foundation shared with FCPS that the foundation is their opportunity to get funding for their innovative ideas, and they hope that schools would come to them when they need help.

FCPS Educator of the Year Renee Blythe gave a humorous speech with encouraging words.

“Dance like no one is watching, but teach like everyone is watching because your students are.”

Principals of all three schools introduced their new staff members, along with giving supportive words.

Franklin High principal Dr. Ronnie Watson said, “I am excited to be here. I want to thank Dr. Bell for this opportunity. I know Dr. Bell’s vision; I’m really excited about it because it is a vision of mine as well.”

J.P. King Jr. Middle School Principal Lisa Francis said, “We did great things this year. Without everybody’s help we could not have accomplished everything we did.”

She also spoke on to say that they will accomplish even more this coming year.

S.P. Morton Elementary School principal Jason Chandler also spoke on the great things his school did this past year and the continued improvement they will make this coming year.

Superintended Dr. Willie Bell ended the event, but made sure to end with highest level of excitement.

He congratulated the school system on how much progress they did in the past year and how much they succeeded with his vision, the V-Formation.

Bell said that the V-Formation is about acting as a team: sharing a common goal, increasing in visibility, having humility to seek help, empowering others to lead, always recognizing great work, offering support in challenging times and staying committed to core values and purpose.

He then relayed all of the school’s gains on their SOL scores.

S.P. Morton Elementary School went up 29 percent in reading (from 39 percent to 68 percent), 32 percent in math (from 41 percent to 73 percent), 33 percent in science (from 30 percent to 63 percent) and 10 percent in history (from 85 percent to 95 percent).

J.P. King Jr. Middle School went up five percent in reading (from 69 percent to 74 percent), 15 percent in math (from 64 percent to 79 percent), 22 percent in science (from 57 percent to 79 percent) and 27 percent in history (from 68 percent to 75 percent).

Franklin High School went up four percent in English (from 73 percent to 77 percent) six percent in science (81 percent to 87 percent), three percent in their graduation rate (from 85 percent to 88 percent) and they received back to back full accreditation.

“Teaching is electric,” he said.

Bell then had everyone there get up and do the Electric Slide and show off their own personal excitement through dancing.

After the dancing, he continued on with his speech.

“Failure is not an option. Our kids have dreams. Doubt kills more dreams than failure,” he said.

He told the staff members that if they continue doing what they did this past year and they will do even better.

Bell also set the goals for FCPS even higher.

“Everyone in this room, you are leaders,” he added.

His excitement filled the room and left all faculty and staff members ready to start the school year on the right foot.