School board president Joyce Carter said Great Bend USD 428 has always been a good school district, and her goal is for it to become known statewide as a great school district.
Carter welcomed new and returning teachers and staff at Monday’s “Back to School Bash,” then introduced the employees’ “biggest cheerleader, Superintendent Brad Reed.”
“We’re going to have a great school year,” Reed said. “We’ve got a great teaching staff. ... I am proud to be able to work with you as your superintendent.”
Reed urged teachers to always remember the passion that made them answer their calling. “This year I want to challenge you to bring your passion every day to your classroom,” he said.
Retired teachers were invited to a breakfast at Great Bend High School, which was followed by the assembly in the auditorium. In addition to Carter and Reed, each of the school principals spoke during the assembly and introduced new teachers.
The GBHS marching band played a fight song and a selection from “Phantom of the Opera,” which will also be performed at the first home football game on Sept. 2. GBHS Assistant Principal Daryl Moore took the stage in a “funky” dance costume, and was joined by cheerleaders and other principals as they danced to a multimedia presentation about “Great Bend Pride,” set to an original tune based on the song “Uptown Funk.”
Keynote speaker, Judge Tom Webb, shared the story of his childhood for a program called “You can make a difference.”
Webb, a retired magistrate judge from Haskell County, was born in Korea in 1952, and lived on the streets until he taken in by Holt Orphanage in 1958. He was adopted and came to the United States in 1959. Recalling acts of kindness that shaped his life, Webb said, “You will never know the impact you have on the lives around you when you choose to reach out with compassion and caring and truly make a difference.”
The program was followed by a USD 428/Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase in the Panther Athletic Center. Businesses were invited to set up tables and welcome the employees of the school district. Among the free items offered were cloth tote bags with the slogan, “I’m a teacher; what’s your superpower?”
Teachers spent the afternoon at their respective schools and will also be at work Tuesday. Most students return on Wednesday.