Students from LCM, WOS, OF and BC performed the National Anthem at the joint convocation for staff from those District.

Almost 1,000 educators from West Orange-Cove, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Bridge City and Orangefield met at the Lutcher Theater on Thursday morning, Aug. 11. To start the program off, a combined band of musicians from each high school played the National Anthem.

The joint convocation was held so that as many school employees as possible could hear motivational/inspirational author and speaker Jon Gordon, who lived up to his reputation as an outstanding speaker. Gordon is author of several books, such as, “The Energy Bus,” “Training Camp,” “The Carpenter,” and “The Hard Hat.” The latter of these has been used by the districts this year to encourage and teach team-building among staff. He also speaks to hundreds of college and professional sports teams, businesses and organizations each year.

The second speaker for the event was Leslie Milder, who along with husband Scott founded “Friends of Texas Public Schools,”http://fotps.org.  As a school teacher, from a family with generations of teachers, Leslie was frustrated with the bad and often erroneous reports that were being circulated about public schools. Challenged by husband Scott to help change that image, they formed FOTPS to dig through the data and put the reports and statistics in understandable perspective.

One example of this is the idea that schools have dismal graduation rates, which in actuality have been steadily rising throughout the years, from 3% in 1903, to 50% in the late 50’s, until now, when Texas public schools topped the nation in graduation rates. The sub-groups, which schools also are rated on, were at the top, too. On 2013, Texas was first in African American and Hispanic graduates, and second in white and economically disadvantaged. These state and national reports normally run two to three years behind the year they are reported in by the state and national agencies.

The enthusiastic crowd enjoyed both speakers and appreciated the positive and supportive messages about educators and their profession.