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School District teachers gather for back-to-school pep rally

 Educators were greeted by lively music courtesy of the Lake Havasu High School band students. The flag corps also performed.
Educators were greeted by lively music courtesy of the Lake Havasu High School band students. The flag corps also performed.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, 568 people met at the Performing Arts Center to celebrate the teaching profession, applaud top educators and take part in some silly fun.

And it was all fun and games until Jamaica Elementary Principal Andrea Helart proved that she was in good voice when she passionately belted out part of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” a capella. Helart’s effort was met with prolonged applause and hearty laughter during the musical segment.

The 90-minute back-to-school pep rally was hosted for its educators by the Lake Havasu Unified School District. The theme was “It starts with us. Be a better part of someone’s day.”

Monday is the first day of classes for teachers and district students for the 2019-2020 school year.

Opening remarks were delivered by Superintendent Diana Asseier. Shortly after, Lake Havasu City Mayor Cal Sheehy addressed the crowd with a special – and perhaps surprising -- message of his own. He explained why he has a deep appreciation for teachers.

The mayor spoke of his academic struggles in grade school. After ensuring he didn’t need eye glasses, his teacher – a Mrs. Rutherford – helped Sheehy’s parents obtain a diagnosis for their young son’s learning disability.

“They found out I had dyslexia,” the mayor said. “I had to relearn how to learn. If it wasn’t for Mrs. Rutherford, I don’t know how I’d be where I am today.”

Sheehy also issued a proclamation, saying that July 31 was Back-to-School Rally Day in Havasu. He made repeated references to Rachel’s Challenge, a district-wide social program that promotes civility through kindness. The new school year will be the second year for the program. Its goal is to foster a school climate less susceptible to harassment, bullying and violence. The long-range goal is to construct a chain reaction of kindness that reaches far beyond district schools.

“I’d like to see Rachel’s Challenge create a culture of kindness in Lake Havasu City,” Sheehy concluded.

Monica Hall of the Lake Havasu K-12 Foundation was also on hand to address the crowd and thanked teachers for their service. She distributed checks from the foundation to the district’s eight school principals, explaining the money was to be used at the principals’ discretion – for emergencies or buy needed supplies for their respective schools.

Several teachers were sporting new gray district t-shirts that local residents may begin to see around town. In large block letters on the back are the words “One District. One City. One Family.”

 

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Pam Ashley, Today's News-Herald
Jul 31, 2019


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