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#PUSDBacktoSchool Employee Kick-Off August 16, 2019

On Friday, August 16, 2019 Poway Unified certificated and classified employees were welcomed to Mt. Carmel High School for a 2019-20 Back to School Kick-Off bash. Thousands of PUSD staff gathered to socialize with colleagues, hear a keynote from author George Couros, and celebrate the upcoming school year.

To teach is to learn twice ... if you want to be a master teacher, you have to be a master learner."

- George Couros

Left to right: Dr. Marian Kim Phelps, Superintendent; Dr. Darshana Patel, Board President; Ginger Couvrette, Board Clerk; TJ Zane, Board Member; Keith Opstad, Westview Teacher

There was staff representation from District Office personnel, Pre-K, Elementary, Middle and High Schools.

Nothing great was achieved without great enthusiasm."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Author George Couros spoke about innovative teaching in the classroom. He encouraged staff to be the catalyst for changing the narrative on education by personalizing the student experience. Guests had the opportunity to pick up his latest book, "Innovate Inside the Box."
Staff were surprised with vocal performances by PUSD students, including songs such as "For Good" from the Broadway musical Wicked and "Fly" by singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne.
Both of The student performances received standing ovations from staff in attendance.
Staff were encouraged to "personalize the student experience" and grow closer to colleagues.
Staff filled the Performing Arts Center at Mt. Carmel High School in anticipation for George Couros' keynote.
In addition to a photo wall, staff were welcomed into the Performing Arts Center through a "welcome tunnel" lined with other PUSD staff.

Staff were encouraged to "be the light" both inside and outside the classroom. Part of being an innovative teacher, Couros said, is empowering students to be leaders.

We need to make the positives so loud, that the negatives are almost impossible to hear."

- George Couros

Staff showed off their PUSD pride at the photo wall, and revealed how many years they have been with the District. Ranging from one year to over 30, there was no shortage of fun and fellowship at the Kick-Off.
Throughout the event, employees shared their experiences and photos to social media using #PUSDBacktoSchool.

Finally, Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps, Ed.D. revealed the 2019-20 music video to accompany this year's theme, 'Better When I'm Dancing.' The video, which features PUSD students, educators and District staff, is set to the Megan Trainor song by the same name. The video was filmed by student media interns, under direction from Chief Communications Officer Christine Paik. Phelps emphasized the importance of community and joy in welcoming students and staff back to school, and said she hopes the District will "keep dancing."

Thank you to all PUSD staff for making the Back to School Kick-Off a success! To see more from the event, watch the video below.

Credits:

Poway Unified School District

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