Loudoun school leaders are serious about making new teachers feel welcome.
As is tradition, they rolled out a literal red carpet this morning to welcome about 750 new faces during the annual new employee orientation. The John Champe High School honor band blasted pep songs, pom-pom-waving cheerleaders chanted, and administrators offered hugs, high fives and shouts as they spotted their fresh hires.
Superintendent Eric Williams, outfitted in a tux, got so into it that his throat hurt afterward.
“My voice is a little hoarse,” he said when he took the stage at the orientation.
He greeted the educators that packed the John Champe auditorium, and cued a couple of music videos as part of his speech to get them pumped up, including Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too.”
“I see you on the left back there bee boppin’, and that’s OK,” the superintendent said.
Williams, who is beginning his third school year at the helm of Loudoun County Public Schools, said teachers—not just rock stars and pro athletes—deserve a red-carpet welcome. “We do noble work in terms of empowering students to make meaningful contributions to the world,” he added. “So carry that pride that you have this morning as we move forward this year.”
The new employees were also welcomed by humorous speaker and author Ron Culberson. He kicked off the day with a few funny stories and a call to all of the teachers, many of whom are just beginning their career in education, to make learning fun and memorable for students.
He told the story of maintenance workers who dressed up in super hero costumes as they washed the windows at University of Missouri Children’s hospital earlier this summer. “What a gift for those children—to change one step in the process,” he said. “To still do a great job but do it a little more fun. That’s do it well, make it fun. That’s what you can do in the classroom.”
The teachers will now prep over the next two weeks for the first day of school, Aug. 29.