Dayton Chamber rolls out the red carpet for DISD new teachers

The Top Gun Aviator Dancers (also known as Dayton ISD District/Campus Administrators) are (two row, left to right) Julie Wilner, Dr. Jessica Johnson, Cynthia Hostetler, Trina Gore, Angie Kimmons, Ross Cullins, Emily Burnett, Leona McCord, Jennifer Jacobs, Tom Swacker, Shayanne Johnson and Savannah Zinter; (bottom row, left to right) Brian Courtney, Jonna Sigle, Jamie Hargrave, Jessica Wallace, Atiya Wortham, Brad Hadnot, Tami Pierce, Amber King, Nikki Lovell, Abby Cumbie, Trudie Dewey, Stacey Gatlin, Shanna McCracken and Melissa VanDeventer.

The Dayton community and local businesses rolled out the red carpet to the new teachers of Dayton ISD on July 26. Twenty-four different businesses sponsored the new teacher event with many more businesses and community members donating door prizes to the new teachers.

Three of the Dayton Chamber directors assisted in facilitating the luncheon including President Lucas Gaskamp, Vice President Howie Howeth and Past President Jordan Thibodeaux. The DISD staff was treated to a delicious meal from Los Compadres and a wide variety of amazing desserts from Coco’s Cake and Bake y mas. 

Superintendent Dr. Jessica Johnson’s theme for the luncheon was becoming Top Gun aviators and their missions for the year. She mentioned that the district would be focusing on several missions this year and went on to speak about three different missions.

Katirina Valdez received a door prize.

Mission #1 was “Feel the need, the need for speed, to build those connections with students starting day one. Feel the need, the need for speed, to be committed to the students, the campus, the district and the community.” Johnson encouraged all of the new teachers to become involved in the community and gave the new staff members a brief history of the city and school district.

Mission #2 was “Aim High in everything.” The superintendent talked about how important it is to have high expectations for all students, to have high positivity in the classroom, and to aim high in wanting to make a difference in the lives of students.

The last Mission that was covered was Mission #3 – Teamwork. “This last mission is to choose teamwork, in the classroom, on your campus, at the district level, and throughout life! Laugh, have fun, build relationships and let’s grow together!” stated Johnson. “Sometimes, we have to step outside our comfort zone into the danger zone. If we have the courage to do just that, then we can accomplish anything together.”

Dr. Johnson gave her own personal experience of stepping out of her comfort zone and into the danger zone for the betterment of the district and students’ lives this past May as she participated in the “Dancing for Our Stars,” Lee College event. She talked about having to quickly learn to trust, rely, and build a relationship with her dance partner, Sam Watkins who Lee College paired her with. She also acknowledged that the teamwork went beyond just her dance partner and herself when it came to raising the money for the scholarship fundraiser.

“I was most proud of the fact that we raised a whopping $46,000 as a district! Because of our staff and community’s teamwork and partnership with  Lee College, DISD will be sending four students to college every year and for years to come! So DISD new teachers, your missions this year are: (1) Feel the Need to be committed and build those relationships, (2) Aim high in everything you do! And finally, don’t underestimate teamwork- everything is possible if we work together, not against each other.  In order to accomplish our missions this year, we will all have to stay on the right trajectory and sometimes step into the danger zone!” Johnson said.

At that point, the DISD administrators came forward (and for many of them) into the danger zone. They put their aviator glasses on to dance for the new teachers.

The highlight of the luncheon was the numerous door prizes that were given away to the new teachers.  Dayton ISD thanked all of the door prize donors for their amazing gifts. A huge thank you to all of the Chamber sponsors for the event.

These businesses, which were sponsors for the luncheon, included: Enterprise Products, OmniPoint Health, Keller Williams, Jack Vaugh with guarantee Rate Affinity, Bear Plumbing, Community Resource Credit Union, Health Center of Southeast Texas, Frontier Waste Solutions, State Farm-Jordan Thibodeaux, Indorama Ventures, Alisha Dale (JLA Realty), Mortgage Financial Services, Bronco Up Nutrition, Familytime Crisis and Counseling Center, Rikowski Insurance Agency LCC, Sherri Schmit (Texas Diamond Realty), Sign Gypsies, Tarver Abstract, AConner Realty, Berkeley Eye Center, Cardinal Dental Group, Laura Taylor (Edward Jones), Jessjohn Inc., and Mainframe 24 HR Wrecker.

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