As Watauga County Schools prepares to welcome back students on Monday, Aug. 16, teachers and staff came together to celebrate the system’s annual convocation ceremony.
Held at Watauga High School, convocation gives new and returning teachers a chance to meet and connect with community partners, attend health screenings and a benefits fair and prepare to start the new school year together.
The ceremony was host to three speakers who addressed the convocation’s theme, Stronger Together, Watauga County Board of Education Chairman Dr. Gary Childers, Principal of the Year Patty Buckner from Parkway and WCS Teacher of the Year Misty Hyler from Hardin Park.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said that convocation was an opportunity to bring teachers and staff from all over Watauga together to allow them to start the school year from a place of unity. He said convocation serves as a reminder of the deepest motivations behind the profession of teaching and the ability teachers have to empower students and others.
More than 700 Watauga County Schools teachers, staff and other employees were in attendance.
During convocation, Elliott also presented the Servant’s Heart Award to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. The award is presented by the Board of Education to a teacher, staff or community member who provides exemplary service to the school community.
Elliott thanked Sheriff Hagaman, who accepted the award on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department. Elliott said Watauga County Schools is served in so many important ways by the work of law enforcement — both by School Resource Officers and in innumerable other ways by officers across the county each day.
“We value our law enforcement officers so highly,” Elliott said. “Our work would not be possible without the dedicated police officers who work so hard to keep us and our schools safe.”
Watauga County Schools will open for students on Monday, August 16.