In what was equal parts pep rally and group hug, Schools Superintendent Daniel Simon addressed hundreds of district teachers, administrators, bus drivers and support staff Tuesday to kick off the new school year.
All district employees were bussed into the high school for a “Welcome Back” session hosted by the new superintendent – the first time such an event had been held in more than a decade, Simon said.
Although the first day for students is Wednesday, teachers reported to work Tuesday.
Simon, who seemed intent on recognizing everyone in the packed high school gymnasium by name during the hour-long assembly, thanked scads of teachers, custodians, union officials and paraprofessionals for a variety of accomplishments or contributions to the upcoming school year.
recognized both personal and professional accomplishments of district employees from last year’s teachers of the year to those employees who had gotten engaged, married or had children in the past year. Each mention of a name garnered applause from the crowd.
“A really good vibe for this year,’’ Simon said prior to the assembly. “We’ve got a really good energy.’’
Wall Township Education Association President Bill Chiesi also addressed the crowd, expressing hope and anticipation for the upcoming year, as did Curriculum Director MaryJane Garibay and technology Director Jeff Janover.
Ending the assembly with a few ABCs of his own, Simon listed “Accountibility,’’ “Boldness,’’ “Collaboration,’’ “Dedication,’’ “Effort’’ and “Focus,’’ as the top priorities for all employees as they embark on a new school year.