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UCPS reception honors teachers new to district and the profession

Part of the fun at the inaugural New Teacher Reception held recently at the Professional Development Center on Brewer Drive was a variety of door prizes donated by area businesses. The event, sponsored by the Union County Education Foundation (UCEF) and Fifth Third Bank, was not only for brand new teachers, but also for those teachers who were not new to the profession, but new to the county.

The inaugural New Teacher Reception, held recently by Union County Public Schools, generated smiles and excitement for new educators to the district. 

UCPS teachers and support staff will return to their classrooms next week. In honor of those educators who are new to UCPS, the district welcomed them with a reception on Aug. 10 at the Professional Development Center.

The event, sponsored by the Union County Education Foundation (UCEF) and Fifth Third Bank, was not only for brand new teachers, but also for those teachers who were not new to the profession, but new to the county.

The first of what is slated to become an annual event, also introduced new teachers to invaluable community partnerships aimed at assisting both in and outside the classroom.

Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis welcomed those in attendance and thanked the community sponsors. UCEF Executive Director Amy Sperry explained that UCEF is a non-profit organization with the mission to support students and encourage educators.

Sperry said that as advocates for both students and educators, the foundation offers community fundraising events, Leadership and Innovative Funding for Teachers (LIFT) grants to classroom teachers, and college scholarship programs for students.  

Fifth Third Bank Vice President and Retail Regional Manager Jill Kinney also spoke, noting that the bank is committed to giving back to the community. “Fifth Third has a goal to educate one million students by 2017 on financial empowerment,” she said.

To reach this goal, the bank has partnered with The Dave Ramsey Program. Janice Bristow, the Fifth Third Bank’s relationship manager, explained that the program is designed to educate high school students about personal finance.

It includes complete lesson plans delivered by Dave Ramsey and his team of experts via video, with more than 100 activities providing personal finance knowledge and skills.

Two UCPS high schools, Cuthbertson and Marvin Ridge High, will participate in the program this year.

The 2015 UCPS Teacher of the Year Lisa Austen congratulated those joining the school district and offered words of encouragement.

She shared that recently her children and their friends recalled various teachers that had made a difference in their lives, and said it reminded her of a truth she had seen daily in the classroom.

“Kids want to know that you care about them,” Austin said. “They want to know what they do and what they say matters. If you take the time to build these connections, then you will be the difference in that child’s life.”

She concluded by encouraging teachers to “be the difference and be awesome” this school year.

Teachers and guests were treated to refreshments and a multitude of door prizes donated by local businesses. Members of the Union County Board of Education, students from Union County Early College and UCPS cabinet staff assisted with the program and distribution of door prizes.

Written by: Becky Swiger, 
Instructional Technology Facilitator
 Technology Services
Posted: Aug 14, 2015 by Deb Bledsoe

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