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Kickoff Rally 2009: Are You Relevant?

Medal winners Bryana, Daniel, and Paige.
K–12 Foundation representatives entered the Performing Arts Center as the theme from Rocky played.

Dr. Barbara Goodwin started the July 29, school year 2009-10 Kickoff Rally for district staff with a video on the theme, “Are you relevant?” (See video). Dr. Goodwin also introduced the K–12 Foundation, whose members made a dramatic entrance jogging down the aisles of the Lake Havasu High School Performing Arts Center while the theme from Rocky played. The K–12 Foundation representatives then presented a check for $3,000 to each of our school principals. The money can be spent on whatever the school needs—no strings attached. The Foundation does this every year, but usually it is done at a governing board meeting before a much smaller audience. K–12 Foundation chairman John Johnston spoke to the audience, encouraging them to become members of the foundation and wishing them well for the school year.

Next, Dr. Goodwin introduced three middle school students (two from Daytona and one from Thunderbolt) to read their essays on “Why My School is the Best.” Daytona student Haley said that Daytona teachers are always ready to help. Student Desiree said that, as a student at Thunderbolt, “I learned from the best.”

The next speaker was Merritt Becket, the La Paz/Mohave regional coordinator of First Things First (www.azftf.gov), an Arizona program to support young children and their families. She stressed the importance of a healthy and stimulating environment for preschool age children.

Next, Daytona Middle School music teacher Ginger Martin introduced the schools advanced choir who performed the Abba song Money, Money, Money. It was more than just a song. All the performers had choreography and wore special costumes for the performance. Mrs. Martin said the choir’s annual Christmas show is one of the best kept secrets in Havasu, and she asked everyone to watch for the day and time of the December concert.

District superintendent Gail Malay gave the primary talk of the day. Continuing on the theme “Are You Relevant?,” she talked about the changing nature of our world and how the schools must adapt. She said that for the 2009-10 school year, our district will have academic coaches at all schools to help teachers keep their skills and teaching methods current. She said it is a district goal to have all staff identify and share best teaching practices. Superintendent Malay predicted that all schools will be offering more and more course content online, and she said the district is ready through its online iQ Academy of Arizona program. She stressed the need to keep students engaged. She said the day has passed when education consisted only of students listening to a teacher talk. She said, “Learning is not a spectator sport.” She also stressed the importance of a positive attitude, quoting army general and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who said, “Pessimism never won any battle.”

The meeting ended with a second video about working together, showing musicians from around the world performing the song “Stand By Me.” (See video at its home site or on YouTube.)

See another picture from the rally. »

Read local newspaper coverage. »