SOCSD teachers start school year with convocation

Starkville High School cheerleaders perform for teachers and administrators at the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District’s faculty convocation Thursday. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Starkville High School Principal Sean McDonnall encourages his staff to cheer at the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District’s faculty convocation Thursday. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Charlie Benton
Staff Writer

All Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District teachers and administrators gathered at the Greensboro Center Thursday morning to begin their school year.

The district held its annual convocation, addressing its faculty to get them excited and ready for the coming year.

Administrators also briefed the educators on the district’s new strategic plan, approved at the July school board meeting.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill addressed the teachers, as did Starkville Vice Mayor Roy A’. Perkins and Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer. California-based motivational speaker and educator Danny Brassell also presented. Additionally, students from the Starkville High School Choir, cheerleading squad and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps battalion participated.

The district also launched its official strategic plan video at the convocation.

“I’m glad to be part of what I think is hands-down the best district in the whole world,” said School Board President Lee Brand. “Here’s why we’re that. It’s because of our people, because of our students, because of you, so I encourage you to push every day for excellence, because you and those children deserve nothing less.”

Spruill, who served on the strategic plan stakeholder group, said the school district was an important component of economic development in the city.

“It’s very impactful to me, to our community from the standpoint of a city and the county,” Spruill said. “You are economic development. That is my baby. Starkville is my baby.”

She emphasized the importance of a quality school district to people and companies looking at Starkville.

“I look forward to the coming year and hearing more about it, and go Jackets,” Spruill said.

Trainer, who also served on the stakeholder group, said he hoped for a good school year, and also said he was excited to see progress made on the Partnership School. He recounted delivering hay from his farm to the Partnership School site.

“This particular facility’s technology is going to be comparable to any facility around the world,” Trainer said. “You know, it makes me feel good to bring some hay there to make the grass grow.”

He said the success of the district’s project started with the convocation.

“I’m here today to challenge you to do the best you can for the children of this district,” Trainer said.

In his presentation, titled “Bringing Joy Back to the Classroom,” Brassell encouraged teachers to build stronger relationships with parents, colleagues and others involved in the educational process. He also reminded teachers it was easier to create good habits than to break bad ones. All present at the convocation received a free copy of Brassell’s book “Read, Lead & Succeed: 50 Simple Ways to Produce Extraordinary Results in Business and Life.”

“Good teachers deserve our respect,” Brassell said in the presentation. “You all deserve our respect, and you all deserve to be treated like royalty.

District teachers returned to work Wednesday, Aug. 1, and students will return Tuesday, Aug. 7.