Glendale Elementary School District kicked off a new year of school with a welcome back event for staff featuring motivational keynote speaker Robert Jackson, bringing everyone throughout the district together for the first time in years.
“I’m going to leave you with this: Happiness is the new rich. Kindness is the new cool. Health is the new wealth. Inner peace is the new success,” said Jackson, a teacher and coach who encouraged everyone to educate, activate and motivate all students for success and to make sure they take care of themselves so they can provide that crucial support for students.
“We needed that today,” said Supt. Cindy Segotta-Jones after Jackson finished his presentation.
After the event, several GESD employees said they were so excited to see each other and gather all together after such a long time apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One woman said, “The guest speaker was phenomenal,” and a man agreed, “I thought the keynote speaker was awesome.”
ASBA video by Jade Frazier: Back To School With Board Members – Glendale Elementary School District
When asked what he liked most about the welcome back, Dr. Alfredo Barrantes-Santamaria, Principal Data Coach, said the messages that “The future is our students, also to take care of yourself and be aware of how our students are doing.”
Another woman said she loved “The high energy everyone has.”
As the welcome back event for staff ended, Supt. Segotta-Jones said, “We have not been together in a couple of years because of Covid, but the energy in the room I just loved that.”
“I’m hoping that the kids will have a good year, a really fun year, and always learn a lot,” said Mary Ann Wilson, a GESD governing board member.
“I think the last two years it was really easy to shut everything off, and unfortunately it takes time to get everybody back into those routines and norms,” said Brenda Bartels, a GESD governing board member.
Wilson noted that students and families in the district have undergone a lot of changes with some schools closing and students starting out this year in schools they haven’t been in before.
“I think everyone needs to be patient, be accepting, and needs to focus on learning and getting along with one another, and relaxing a little bit, and let good things happen,” Wilson said.