One of Hill’s main points was to eliminate students’ barriers to learning.
“We will change lives. We will make learning relevant,” Hill said in his speech.
One of the teachers in attendance Tuesday was Hayward Middle School Language Arts teacher, Sara Gillespie. She said one of her first day activities with her students will be using Jolly Rancher candy to tell different stories based on the color candy the students choose.
“I always miss it when I’m away. It’s great to get the summers off and spend time with my own little ones, but it’s always really nice to get back into the swing of things,” she said. “We work with incredible kids who just bring all kinds of diversity and interesting things to the table.”
BACK TO SCHOOL: Urbana City Schools will start school late due to construction
New staff and transitioning staff were celebrated during the convocation, and each school cheered (some with pom-poms and cowbells) as their school was mentioned.
The Springfield High School marching band, drill team and cheerleaders wrapped up the event, which brought staff to their feet.
The convocation followed two days of professional development sessions that included a Cost of Poverty Experience. National Training Director for Think Tank, Inc., Heather Cunningham was the keynote presenter.
The first day for sophomores through seniors in the district will be Thursday.