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Education experts to help welcome teachers, staff back

Lenoir County Public Schools will welcome its more than 1,100 teachers, staff members and school administrators back for the 2019-2020 school year next week with four days of presentations and workshops featuring educators of national renown.

LCPS is calling the event “Leveling Up with LCPS: Taking Teaching and Learning to the Next Level.” The theme emphasizes the school district’s commitment to continuing the progress made in its classrooms by adhering faithfully to those practices that have been shown to work.

“We’ve made tremendous gains in the past three years and we’re very proud of our teachers and administrators who have worked tirelessly to move our district forward. But after three years we cannot rest on our progress,” said Associate Superintendent Frances Herring, an organizer of the event. “We have much more ground to cover and our teachers and staff deserve the best professional development we can offer from some of the best and most respected in our profession.”

Don Parker portrait Freebird McKinney portrait The week begins with Monday morning’s opening day convocation and cookout at Grainger Stadium.

“We’re really excited because this is a return to something we used to do many years ago,” Superintendent Brent Williams said. “It’s going to be a short event, but one where we can all just come together and celebrate our mission moving forward and redouble our efforts to help children through the upcoming year.”

Keynoting the convocation will be 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year Freebird McKinney, a social studies teacher at Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington. Entering his 15th year in the classroom, McKinney teaches world and European history and is co-coordinator of his school’s International Baccalaureate Pathway Program.

Also on the program are Williams, Herring and Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II.

Donyall Dickey portrait Kathy Perez portrait The convocation will be followed by a three-day “learning summit” that will give LCPS teachers a chance to hear from and work with educators that Herring called “highly regarded” experts.

Featured on Tuesday, Aug. 13, and Wednesday, Aug. 14, will be school principal and author Dr. Don Parker, celebrated for his work with at-risk students, and Dr. Kathy Perez, an international consultant, teacher, administrator and author. Each will keynote sessions on Tuesday and will lead teacher workshops on Wednesday.

Capping off the learning summit on Thursday, Aug. 15, will be Dr. Donyall D. Dickey, a nationally recognized authority on curriculum, instruction, organizational development and school administration. Dickey will address teachers and administrators, and his presentation will be followed by breakout sessions to give school staffs a chance to digest and discuss what they’ve seen and heard during the week.

“This is exciting and relevant professional development that brings highly regarded experts to Lenoir County to assist us with moving our students and staff to the next level,” Herring said.

Photo caption:

'Leveling Up' speakers are, clockwise from top right, Freebird McKinney, Dr. Kathy Perez, Dr. Donyall D. Dickey and Dr. Don Parker.