It has been said that a good breakfast is the best way to start a new day.
New teachers in the Maryville City School system were treated to a special breakfast to help them kick off the upcoming academic year.
The event was Friday, July 23, and was sponsored by the school system and the Maryville Education Association.
Maryville City Schools director Stephanie Thompson said this is the first time for the breakfast, which has been a luncheon in the past. “I think being able to do this for new teachers makes them more comfortable because we’re easing them into a new environment and new opportunities,” Thompson said.
Thompson said it also serves as a way to introduce personnel who work in different schools in the system to each other, and to the central office staff.
“It’s just something special we do for our new teachers, to introduce our central office staff and all the principals and assistant principals, so that the new teachers see who the administrative teams are,” she said.
The morning of the breakfast, Thompson reminded the new teachers that while Maryville City Schools always stress excellence, the relationships teachers form with students change their lives. “If you care, you make a difference,” she said.
School board chair Christi Sayles welcomed the new teachers. “You’re not the only people who wanted the jobs you’ve found, you’re the best,” she said. “We are truly grateful for you, and we look forward to getting to know you.”
Kevin Painter, managing partner of LeConte Wealth Management and a Maryville High School alum, was keynote speaker and told the new teachers that Maryville residents are passionate about their community and about their school system. The teachers, he said, are expected to not just enable the students to pass state-mandated requirements, but to inspire, nurture and motivate the learners.
“When I think about people who impacted my life, I think of the teachers who helped me,” Painter said. “You have large responsibilities and great opportunities with the kids in this system.”
Dr. Andrew Hebert has been teaching seven years but this is his first year with Maryville City Schools. He will teach at Maryville Middle School. Hebert said he was drawn to the system because of its reputation and said the breakfast reinforced the family attitude the system has. “It’s an open-arms approach to welcoming new people into the system,” he said.
William Gouge has been in education for 24 years, most recently in Oliver Springs. He will be a technology teacher at the middle school. The breakfast, he said, showed the hospitality of the system toward new people. “This type of climate is unique,” he said. “They are definitely known for high achievement and improvement. They’re going to take you to the next level.”
Keith Wilson has been in education for nine years teaching at Bearden Middle School until last year, when he served as an assistant principal. This year he is an assistant principal at Maryville Middle School. The community approach in each Maryville school has appealed to him, he said.
“The schools here really serve particular communities, which is something I look forward to,” he said. “It’s more site-based management, and you have more input into how the school is run.”
Brynn Dailey is teaching seventh grade health at Maryville Middle School and the North Carolina native said that after she graduated Maryville College in 2009 and went to East Tennessee State University to earn her masters, she knew she wanted to return to Blount County.
“When I came to Maryville College, I fell in love with Maryville and knew this was where I wanted to teach,” she said. “The students and teachers perform on an excellent level always and that sets Maryville apart.”