As Watauga County Schools prepares to welcome back students on Monday, Aug. 20, teachers and staff came together to celebrate the system’s annual convocation ceremony.
Held at Watauga High School, convocation gives new and returning teachers a chance to meet and connect with community partners, attend health screenings and a benefits fair and prepare to start the new school year together.
The ceremony was host to three speakers who addressed the theme of empowerment, Watauga County Board of Education Chairman Ron Henries, Principal of the Year Phil Norman from Green Valley and WCS Teacher of the Year Terri Hodges from Blowing Rock.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said that convocation was an opportunity to bring teachers together from all over the district to serve as a reminder of the core motivations behind the profession of teaching and the ability teachers have to empower students and others.
More than 700 Watauga County Schools teachers, staff and other employees were in attendance.
Elliott said the district would welcome more than 4,360 students to school at the start of the year, the largest enrollment the district has seen in 15 years.
“Hardly a week goes by that I do not meet someone who tells me they moved their family, their career and their lives to Watauga County specifically to be a part of our school system,” Elliott said. “That is a choice. Empowerment, striving for excellence, collaboration and support for our students and colleagues, those are also choices that we make every day in Watauga County Schools.”
Elliott said he was proud of the important work done each day in the district.
“I’m proud of all the options, choices and opportunities we provide to our students. And, I am proud that all of you have chosen, just like me and my family have chosen, to be here doing this important work,” Elliott said. “We are all here, doing what I believe to be the most difficult and important in our whole society, and each and every one of us is doing this work together, empowered to make a difference.”
Watauga County Schools will open for students Monday, Aug. 20.