Happiness is their truth: New superintendent, faculty start year with a hit

Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014 20:56 - Written by Calvin Maynard calvinmaynardtmt@gmail.com

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Just like R&B superstar Pharrell Williams, the faculty and staff of the Tyler Independent School District are happy, and “can’t nothin’” bring them down.

The highlight of Thursday morning’s annual TISD convocation, held in the main sanctuary of Green Acres Baptist Church, was a music video produced this summer of teachers, administrators and the entire district staff, dancing, singing, and messing around to the tune of Williams’ chart topping hit, “Happy.” As the video played, all 2,700 people stood to clap along to the catchy beat, smiling ear to ear.

Board President the Rev. Orenthia Mason spoke of the district’s achievements and her hopes for the coming year.

“You are the most important people in here this morning,” the Rev. Mason said. “If we all work together, the sky is the limit of what we can do. This is the greatest place in the U.S.A., in my opinion. We’ve got to support our new administrator and make him feel good, look good and walk good. We’ve got to keep looking up, no matter how dark it may get.”

This year’s theme was “TISD, My Choice.” Four families spoke at the convocation about why they send their children to Tyler public schools.

One parent noted how her daughter, born with a learning difficulty, was able to graduate in the spring in the top 2 percent of her class.

Newly appointed TISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford praised teachers for what they contribute to the community.

“Teachers don’t make much money, and that’s sad, because it’s one of the most important things you can do for a community,” he said.

After introducing his family to the district’s faculty and staff, Crawford made his closing remarks.

“Here’s a dose of leadership advice for the teachers,” he said. “You’ve got to give and provide relevant effort, because you can make a difference in those kids’ lives.”

He thanked each department individually, and invited anyone to approach him now or later to discuss any issue to better the schools’ performance.

TISD classes start Monday.