Magic time

Faculty and staff members from Dr. Johnny T. Clark Jr. Elementary School head to the Lee High School Auditorium for GCCISD’s convocation.

Magic was in the air as more than 2,500 Goose Creek CISD faculty and staff members celebrated the new school year at one of two sessions of the annual convocation at Robert E. Lee High School. 

The event opened with GCCISD’s version of Carpool Karaoke, featuring Randal O’Brien, superintendent, and Al Richard, school board president.

Phillip Morgan, fine arts director, served as master of ceremonies, introducing Richard, who reflected on his first convocation as a teacher in Goose Creek CISD. 

“Thirty-three years ago I sat in the second row of the Sterling Auditorium for my first Goose Creek convocation as a new teacher to GCCISD – and yes, I remember exactly where I sat because it was that special of a day. I was amazed at the enthusiasm of the educators gathered and felt privileged to be a part of an organization that exuded greatness and took pride in all facets of the educational process.”

Richard, who attended GCCISD convocations for the next 28 years as a teacher or an administrator, recalled previous convocations and gave examples of some of the “magic” he has seen this week during his visits around the district.

He detailed challenges faced by educators over the past 4 ½ decades, and starting with the 1980s, asked those who began their careers each decade to stand as he thanked them for working their magic to help students succeed.

“Over the past 35 years, education in Texas has changed and teachers are constantly faced with adversity and challenges. And yet, you always find the magic to ‘engage, inspire and empower’ your students,” Richard said.

O’Brien addressed the group, asking educators to consider how they would describe what they do in three words. 

“There are three words, that when put together, I believe capture the essence of what we do, in and outside the classroom. Engage. Empower. Inspire,” O’Brien said.

“You have embraced a career that will define our children’s ability to believe in a better tomorrow. We engage our students and have them actively participating in their individual growth. We empower them with the tools that they will need to be successful in this life, including their academic, social, physical and emotional well-being. We inspire them to believe in themselves, far greater than their individual capacities would ever allow them to, with our unwavering passion to see them blossom, to witness their journey from the raw clay that they come to us as until the refined pottery that they leave with as we send them out into the world,” said O’Brien.

Quoting Vince Lombardi, O’Brien said, ‘“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.’”

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