Franklin holds annual convocation for teachers

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Franklin City Public Schools had its annual convocation for new and returning teachers on Tuesday morning in the Regional Workforce Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College.

The event began with remarks by Gail Wade, director of human resources and administrative services for Franklin City Public Schools, and an invocation by School Board Vice-Chairwoman Andrea Hall Leonard. Teachers and other attendees were then treated to a light, continental breakfast, which was followed by remarks from School Board Chairman Bob Holt and Mayor Frank Rabil.

Holt spoke on the process of hiring FCPS’s new superintendent, Tamara Sterling, and commended Deputy Superintendent Kelvin Edwards Sr. for serving as interim superintendent during the hiring process.

“Kelvin was handed quite a chore and he came out in fine shape,” Holt said.

he also mentioned the 2-percent salary raises that all FCPS teachers will receive starting in September, which came about as a result of state funds intended for teacher raises to be distributed in February 2018, combined with an increase in local funding.

Following opening remarks, Wade introduced the new personnel who would be serving in the central administration office during the 2017-2018 school year, and each school’s principal introduced their new teachers.

The convocation also included musical skits performed by teachers with each of the division’s three schools and a keynote address by Dr. Nancy Lewin, education leadership consultant and mentor.

“When I walked into your business center, I was amazed, this city is embracing innovation,” Lewin said. “But where does all this begin? It begins the first day they [students] walk through your classroom door. It begins when a child doesn’t realize you care and then they come to that realization.”

She also shared Bureau of Labor Statistics from March 2017, which estimated that the median weekly income of anyone in the U.S. without a high school diploma is $504.

With a diploma, that figure rises to $692 per week, she said. With an associates degree, the median rises to $819 per week and unemployment drops to 3.6 percent. Those with a bachelor’s degree have a median weekly income of over $1,000, and unemployment drops to 2.7 percent.

“If students knew this and did some calculations, they would have a purpose because it’s real life, it happens to people,” she said.

Superintendent Tamara Sterling delivered closing remarks, during which she highlighted that J.P. King Jr. Middle School had made all 2017 SOL benchmarks necessary for accreditation. Franklin High School met all benchmarks on the 2017 SOL scores except for math, but remains fully accredited due to its three-year average scores. S.P. Morton Elementary, while still not quite at the benchmarks needed for accreditation, is trending upward in SOL scores, she said.

The convocation continued with community bus tours, where teachers from all three schools visited the homes of students with a significant number of absences last school year and personally invited them to come to school on the first day of classes. It concluded at noon at Franklin High School with a luncheon catered by Captain Bob’s.