Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Members of the business community, City officials and Coppell ISD administrators welcomed the district’s incoming teachers at the New Teacher Breakfast hosted by the Coppell Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 14.
“We feel this is a good way to get the business community active with the educational programs in Coppell,” said Chamber President Tony Moline. “These teachers are teaching tomorrow’s business community. You need to have well educated people to run businesses, and we want well educated employees for the future. So it is important for business to make those connections and support education for that workforce. We truly appreciate what these teachers do.”
Like many of the incoming teachers, Sarah Yancey who will be teaching first grade for the dual language institute at Wilson Elementary, is eager for school to begin.
“I had been teaching in Dallas for a while, and I was looking for a change,” Yancey said. “Coppell is an awesome district, and I can’t wait to start working here. The people are amazing, and everyone I’ve met has been so nice. Coppell ISD offers the family atmosphere that I was looking for. I am so excited to start the new school year. I can’t wait.”
A calculus at New Tech High School, Aviel Porzio, actually began working for the district last spring and has been impressed by his experiences within the district.
“The students have been wonderful to work with, and they are very inspiring,” Porzio said. “I have had amazing administrative support. I’ve only been involved with Coppell ISD a short amount of time, but I’ve been very impressed with everything.
“I can’t wait for school to begin. I wish it had started a month ago.”
Speaking to the teachers during the breakfast, City Manager Clay Phillips cautioned that the community has high expectations for them and their students.
“The bar is unbelievable high in this community,” Phillips said. “The expectations for you as teachers and for this district are sometimes hard to even explain.
“Where better to work than in a place that wants to see great things happen? Where better to work than a place that expects success? Where better to work than a place that will support you and virtually meet your every need to help you be successful?
“Don’t be afraid. Don’t shy away from the challenge you are going to face. Just understand this is a great place and excellence is expected. With your help, we will not only jump that bar, we will clear it with ease.”
Mayor Karen Hunt spoke about the community’s support of its teachers.
“You guys are going to be overwhelmed with the support you get from the parents and students. Be careful what you ask for, because you will get it,” Hunt said. “We are in a very unique community. We get along. We help each other. We do what is necessary to get the job done, because education is very important to the citizens.
“Welcome; and I hope you have the best year, until next year.”
The new teachers are coming into Coppell ISD as the district is changing from a traditional school system to a more responsive system, according to Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner.
“We have 140 new employees in our school district this year. That is twice as many as last year,” Turner said. “We only choose the best to come work in Coppell.
“We in the state of Texas and in Coppell specifically are on the cusp of a transformation in public education. We are going from being a traditional system – and by the way a dad-gum good traditional system. Now society is demanding something different from our graduates. Not that 15 or 20 or 50 percent of them be prepared to go on to college and career, society is demanding that 100 percent of our graduates are prepared to go on to college and career. We are transitioning as a school district, and we are making some exciting gains.
“We are hoping for you 140 new faces to be a tipping point in moving us from being a winner in the old game to being a first place winner in the Olympic game of preparing kids globally. We are excited about your input into that process and the passion you bring to us.”
District Teacher of the Year – Secondary, Charles Perryman, encouraged his new colleagues to channel their passion into the classroom.
“Teaching here has been the validation of creativity,” Perryman said. “You put your passion into your work here, and it will be repaid. You take risks, and you will receive reward. This is the type of district that likes to not just raise the standard, but challenge everything about that standard. This is the type of district that likes to push the status quo, challenge what is possible in the classroom and would like to push the limits of who we can be as teachers. I want to encourage you to keep pushing.”