Baldwin County public schools start on Monday, August 21, 2017, but the Friday before, thousands of teachers were treated to a pep rally. It’s called the teacher institute and nearly 4,000 teachers and staff attended.
Teachers and staff from every public school in Baldwin County converged on the Baldwin County Coliseum to be inspired as the new school year kicks off. With so many in attendance, the day was divided into two shifts.
“I wanted everybody to come together and laugh and smile and celebrate who we are, who they are and we accomplished that,” said Baldwin County schools superintendent, Eddie Tyler.
This is the second year Tyler has put on the teacher institute. He said because of the way it’s designed, he just wants them to have fun and remember why they’re here. This was done by showing several videos of staff at their schools all over the county. Teachers were able to laugh and cheer for one another.
The highlight of the institute was an address from John “Rat” Riley. Riley was a standout kicker for the Auburn Tigers and went on to play for the Oakland Raiders. For the last 35 years he’s traveled the world, giving motivational speeches and Tyler said he’s the perfect fit for this crowd.
“He has so much humor, but within all that humor he weaves in a message about life, about people, about relationships, about believing in yourself, about believing in students,” Tyler explained.
It’s the second year Riley has addressed the teacher institute and when it was over, it was obvious the message got through.
“Anytime you can come together and have that camaraderie and the leadership of our school system is just tremendous so it’s just…it’s a great event for our teachers,” Said Baldwin County High School Head football coach, Nathan McDaniel.
“We just get excited for the school year. It gets us pumped up, ready for the kids to come on Monday,” added Magnolia School principal, Debbi Phillips. “That’s the best thing about it. I guess just getting back into the reason we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place. It’s all for the kids.”
The teachers will be welcoming back more than 30,000 students Monday morning.
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