The KCS Saturday Six – The Inaugural Edition

Today marks the start of a new communications venture for Kingsport City Schools… the “Saturday Six.”  Each weekend, we’ll highlight six items related to KCS.  It may be current news, recent or upcoming events, teacher or student work and achievements, KCS history, or just interesting tidbits about the district.  We hope you’ll make the Saturday Six a regular part of your weekend!

  1.  The Dobyns-Bennett Hall of Fame has six new members.  This week, D-B honored yet another class of outstanding alumni.  Because of their outstanding achievements and dedication to D-B, the Hall welcomes Michael Ainslie (1961), Robin Jarvis Askew (1974), Dr. Locke Carter (1954), Lois Patrick Young-Dobyns (1954), Anne Pope (1979), and Fred Walton (1963).  Once an Indian, always an Indian!
  2. KCS text messaging… Coming to a cell phone near you.  On Monday, KCS parents and staff with a cell phone listed in PowerSchool will receive a text asking if they want to receive future messages from KCS.  By responding with “Y” or “Yes,” they will opt-in to receive future vital communications straight to their cell phone, related to emergencies, schedule changes, or other important information.  It’s one more example of how KCS is always working to improve communications with our community.
  3. KCS is pretty in pink.  On Friday, staff members throughout KCS took part in a fundraising initiative to support breast cancer research and awareness.  Teachers, staff, and administrators raised funds and donned pink to show solidarity and support for this important cause.  If you were in a KCS school on Friday, you saw LOTS of pink!
  4. Johnson Elementary Math Night adds to learning.  Thursday evening, parents and teachers at Johnson came together to take a hands-on took at mathematics instruction and see how students can best be supported in their learning.  It was a great evening of knowledge, community, and fun!
  5. Insight KCS continues to share the story of KCS.  On Friday of this week, the 2015-16 class of Insight KCS took a deep look at the curriculum and instruction occurring throughout the district.  Participants learned about literacy and math instruction, as well as taking a tour of Robinson Middle School and Johnson Elementary.  Insight KCS is a year-long community initiative to share the complete operations of KCS with interested area residents.
  6. We are #OneTribe, #OneKingsport.  Next week, KCS is excited to participate in the One Kingsport summit, working to bring all facets of our community together to shape the vision of our great city.  We are privileged to live and work in such a special place, and the summit looks to be an exciting opportunity to move Kingsport forward.  Our spirit of unity makes us great!

We Celebrate Our Educators


We are educators…

This week, schools and communities all across America are celebrating “Teacher Appreciation Week.”  It’s a time set aside to show our appreciation to the people who have dedicated their lives to helping our children learn and grow.  Personally, I believe it’s about 51 weeks too short, but that’s a discussion for another day.  However, the recognition got me thinking about how we define the word “teacher.”

Of course, it can refer to what we typically think of as a classroom teacher… the person who’s name is on the classroom door and on the top of the report card when it goes home each nine weeks.  I’m sure that when Teacher Appreciation Week was conceptualized, those are the individuals they had in mind.  The dedication it takes to be a classroom teacher is enormous.  It’s a position that requires a huge amount of preparation, professional learning, data review, content knowledge, and teaching skill.  Combine a full-time teacher, social worker, parent, friend, statistician, mentor, student, and advocate… That’s a more complete picture of what it actually takes to be a teacher today.

But what about all the other people that contact and influence our children each day?  Aren’t they “teachers,” just as well?  What about the bus driver that may spend an hour each day with our children and likely learns more about their ins and outs then we’ll ever know?  What do they teach our kids about reliability, safety, and friendship?  What about the cafeteria workers that are there each day with friendly faces and a hot meal?  Aren’t they providing life lessons in nutrition, service, and teamwork?  The examples are found all throughout our workforce, schools, and community, and they give their best to support the 7,000 children that enter our schools each day.

In Kingsport, we don’t just refer to this week as “Teacher” appreciation week, because we feel that every one of our employees contributes to the growth of our students.  We believe that all KCS employees, regardless of job title, are educators.  It’s a group of over 1,100 diverse individuals that give their very best to our children, and deserve our thanks, not just this week, but all throughout the year.

So to the teacher, instructional assistant, secretary, bookkeeper, office assistant, custodian, bus driver, maintenance worker, counselor, nurse, cafeteria worker, therapist, psychologist, curriculum coordinator, technology specialist, coach, finance worker, administrator, and all other educators that work for Kingsport City Schools, we thank you.  Not just today or during Teacher Appreciation Week, but each and every day of the year.  You continually give of yourself to improve our children, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

We are educators… We are KCS.