Dare to Be Great 2017-2018
Convocation August 23 - Dare to Be Great

Dare County Schools faculty, teaching assistants and administrators all gathered at First Flight High School on August 23 for an opening convocation with new Superintendent of Schools John D. Farrelly and Board of Education members. On stage, guests included Chief Academic Officer Arty Tillett, Chief Financial Officer Anna McGinnis, new Executive Director of Elementary Instruction Sandy Kinzel, and Class of 2018 seniors Elizabeth Wheless (Manteo High School), Susanna Rae Couch (Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies), and Kendall Weeks (FFHS). Nags Head Elementary School Nurse Betsy Robinson, who opened the festivities by singing the national anthem, got a standing ovation. Board of Commissioners Chair Bob Woodward, Vice Chair Wally Overman, and members Rob Ross and Danny Couch were joined by County Manager and Attorney Bobby Outten. 

Following Tillett's introductions, Board of Education Chair Bea Basnight gave welcoming and encouraging remarks. Next, a series of uplifting videos of school administrative teams welcomed back their staffs to the new school year and entertained the audience. 

Students were up next, each with their own reflections of what it meant to be a Dare County Schools student and the impact that teachers have on their lives. Farrelly then gave an inspirational speech, where he stressed the high value in creating a culture of innovation and collaboration. "Our theme this year is 'Dare to be Great' as we embrace our goal to be THE cutting edge school district in the country. My hope is that we grow and nurture scholars who are problem solvers, innovators, responsible, gracious, adaptable, and great communicators. In order to achieve our goals, we need to have a shared vision in our county that all stakeholders can embrace. If we set the conditions necessary for success, our scholars will thrive." 

Farrelly also gave out several prizes that were donated by the community including two Dell laptops sponsored by Dell, and an Estate Planning Package from Kellogg and Evans, PA. Other sponsors were Computer Mike's and Trillium Health Services. Dare County Schools is appreciative of its supportive community.  To see a website about the day, as well as supportive businesses, visit http://d2bg2017.daretolearn.org/.

Staff was then released to participate in professional learning as the chose from over 125 sessions to participate in. Many of the sessions focused on the use of digital technology. The energy from the morning lasted all day, and people's responses in the exit interviews were in general upbeat and positive. In fact, "positive" was the word of the day.

Samples of teachers quotes include:

This morning's Convocation was energizing beyond anything I have ever experienced before at a district level meeting!

Great energy in the morning! Motivational start to the day and school year!

Our new Superintendent is AMAZING!

I'm very excited to try out Google Classroom this school year!

Dare County Schools is entering a new age of greatness! Proud to part of the team!

The energy from the entire day was so positive, I really enjoyed all of my sessions. All presenters were eager and positive, very infectious.

Opening ceremony really set the stage for innovation, collaboration, and momentum to take this district to an all-time high. Perfect timing. Thank you all so much.

A renewed excitement for teaching and incorporate new technology into daily learning with my students. I feel as if we are all off to a fabulous start! I believe this was probably the BEST district wide development day that I have been to. The presenters were knowledgeable and shared what really works in the classroom with students. LOVED it!