Hundreds of educators from across Spring ISD got an early start for the 2023-2024 school year at the Summer Teacher Extravaganza on Monday at Dekaney High School.
The event, hosted by the district’s Workforce Development department, offers teachers four days of keynote speeches, professional development courses, and more.
“We cannot do this work without you,” Dr. Monique Lewis, Executive Director of Workforce Development, told the crowd. “You are our engine.”
At the beginning of Monday’s kickoff, district superintendent Dr. Lupita HInojosa offered a few words of encouragement to the teachers as well as her vision for the upcoming school year.
“Spring ISD continues to make gains as it relates to student achievement and student success. And that can only be possible because of each of you,” Dr. Hinojosa said. “I want to start this school year reminding all of us of our ‘why.’ In Spring ISD, our ‘why’ is excellent and equitable outcomes for all students.”
Dr. Hinojosa also went over the district’s six strategic priorities, which were introduced last school year – student outcomes, equity, well-being, leadership, opportunities, and engagement. In addition, she shared the district’s theme for the year, “The Power of You,” which emphasizes the power of every Spring ISD employee to make an impact on student success.
“We as teachers are professionals. We know what our students need,” she said. “Failure can and will happen. We may get kicked down, but we will get back up. We are Spring.”
The Summer Teacher Extravaganza will continue through Thursday, with additional sessions and networking for district teachers, as well as a keynote speaker on Wednesday. Consuelo Castillo Kickbush, a 22-year veteran and the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army, is now a community leader and activist and founder of Educational Achievement Services, and will speak to attendees on day three.
In addition, the Spring ISD Education Foundation announced on Monday morning that it is offering 20 grants for district teachers of $250 each to be put towards preparing classrooms for the school year.
The overall goal of the Extravaganza – with the speakers, grant giveaways, sessions, and more – is to encourage teachers as they prepare for the 2023-2024 school year, which begins Aug. 10. In her keynote address, Dr. Hinojosa reminded teachers that though there may be obstacles and setbacks with changing state requirements and limited resources from state funding, the goal remains the same.
“In Spring ISD, we do not change our goal. We do not change our why, we do not change our expectations for our students,” she said. “The power in us will continue — day in and day out — to ensure excellent and equitable education for all of our students.”