Luncheon welcomes new teachers, administrators

More than 800 Irving Independent School District employees and sponsors gathered during the 61st Annual Back to School Luncheon to welcome nearly 350 new teachers to the district. The annual luncheon was hosted in partnership with the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, and presented by Michaels.

“The focus is to give back to the teachers and administrators on the front line teaching our next generation,” Beth Bowman, President and CEO of The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce said. “Irving elected school district officials, the mayor, city council members, and board members from the business community are collaborating today to let the new teachers and administrators know that they are important to our community teaching our future generation. They are the rock stars.

“We get to produce the event in partnership, but we obviously wouldn’t have an event if we didn’t have the teachers,” she said. “They are the reason we are here, and the business community believes in supporting that front line.”

Bowman said it is important that the new teachers and new administrators know that a vibrant business community is welcoming and encouraging them for a successful year. That sets the tone of the luncheon, and the spirit rises every year throughout the event.

“The luncheon is something we have been doing as a very nice way for us to welcome the new teachers to our district,” Lesley Weaver, IISD Director of Communications, said.

“There were a lot of businesses sponsoring for us. There were things from Apple Watches to a $500 gift card to Michael’s to help the new teachers with things around the classroom. The teachers were able to walk away with great things including spa days, hotel staycations, and even $100 and $50 gift cards too.”

Courtney Silverberg was recognized during the luncheon for attending the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, where she was able to gain new skills and approaches in teaching in her classroom.

“It’s surprising that a lot of the teachers in Irving don’t know about the conference,” Silverberg said. “It’s not just the United States; they fly people in from abroad.”

Silverberg spoke to the teachers to inform them of the different opportunities available to teachers who want to continue learning new teaching styles and approaches. During the conference, she was able to build on the teaching skills she already had and learn new ones. She was also able to observe different teaching styles from teachers from other states and countries.

“There were surprisingly two of us here today,” Silverberg said. “I was glad to not be the only one in the room to attend the great event. I can’t wait for more teachers to experience it.

“It was amazing for me as a teacher. Any trip where you have to pack light, because of the free stuff they give you is really amazing. It was filled with great science experiences with integrated math.

“The conference shows different approaches to teaching,” she said. “Not everyone learns the same. I know as a kid, I learned better by seeing, touching, and moving objects than I did with just numbers the whole time.”