With the first day of school less than two weeks away, the Aledo ISD welcomed their new teachers and other professionals with a luncheon as they began their three-day orientation.
The orientation began Aug. 12 as the teachers prepared for the new year which will bring about 200 new students to the Aledo campuses, breaking the 5,000 student mark for the first time in the school’s history.
“We’re one big family here,” school board president Jay Stringer said to the new teachers. “We do things the Bearcat way.”
Superintendent Derek Citty said the growth of that family over the last year is due to the city’s growth as new families move to the area.
“We’re a destination district right now,” Citty said, adding that it’s because of the school’s extracurricular activities available to students – from their successful athletic teams to other activities such as art and music.
The district welcomed about 40 new teachers, diagnosticians and therapists to the growing Bearcat family. Stuard Elementary was the only school in the district that did not hire any new teachers while McAnally Intermediate alone welcomed about 15 new professionals.
Stringer says the new teachers should have no trouble transitioning into their new roles at the different schools.
“We’ve got a good system in place,” Stringer said of the days of orientation and also veteran teachers helping the new teachers.
Casey Johnston, a new agricultural teacher in the high school, said he is excited about teaching in the district that is growing by “leaps and bounds.”
“I’m very excited about being in Aledo,” Johnston said. “I’ve heard good things.”
Many good things have come to Aledo as construction of new residential areas continues as well as road and other structural improvements. The school district has also been impacted by the growth and improvements.
Johnston’s family will get to experience that growth firsthand now as he teaches and as their son becomes a first-year student.
“I consider it a privilege to become a part of this family,” Johnston says of joining Aledo’s ranks of teachers.
Citty admits that growth in the district causes the greatest tension each year as changes must be made but that he looks forward to what that new growth offers and what the new teachers bring to the district.
“We’re excited to have the new folks,” Citty said of those teachers. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the air. It’s going to be a good year.”
The new school year begins Monday.