KISD convocations challenge educators to engage and innovate

08/25/2014 8:57 PM

08/25/2014 8:58 PM

With a challenge to engage students and transform learning, more than 3,000 Keller district employees kicked off the school year at convocation ceremonies held for each feeder pattern at the four KISD high schools Aug. 20.

Convocation at Keller High School featured the Tribe Show Choir, new KHS Principal Michael Nasra, Superintendent Randy Reid, Elementary Teacher of the Year Denise Koontz, feeder pattern commercial spoofs and a KISD version of “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

Nasra, who just arrived in Keller this summer after serving as associate principal at Kingwood High School northeast of Houston, said he was impressed by the many achievements of KISD high school students and noted that their success was a direct result of what happened at the elementary, intermediate and middle school levels. Nasra challenged teachers, administrators and support staff members to “become transformative leaders.”

In his address to employees, Reid focused on student engagement, education transformation and classroom innovation. This year’s district theme is “iEngage:” engaging students, parents, community members and colleagues.

Reid said that educators can best engage students by transformative and innovative methods.

“Transformation is a never ending process,” he said. “Our world and society are in a constant state of change, and the students we see in our classrooms are living in a world that’s very different from how we grew up.”

Reid urged teachers to try new approaches in the classroom. If the method works well, share it and continue; if it doesn’t, move on.

“I encourage you to take calculated risks to motivate and engage students,” he said.

Reid also mentioned several new endeavors that debut this fall: the employee health and wellness center opening Oct. 8; the November bond election and a district-wide orchestra program.

Convocation videos included a couple of different spoofs on “Frozen,” the “Final Episode” of the Central High feeder pattern principals’ homage to “The Office” with CHS Principal David Hinson as the grimace-inducing boss (a convocation favorite for many years) and Reid visiting with three groups of students who constantly challenged his ability to keep a straight face.

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