SALADO — Superintendent Michael Novotny and the Salado Independent School District welcomed back teachers with lunch, games and prizes on Thursday.
The luncheon was held at Salado High School, 1880 Williams Road, with the goal of easing teachers back into the school year in a fun manner. Employees from all over the school district attended, representing both teachers and staff from every campus.
Many of the teachers visited with each other during the fun event and took time to compare teaching notes for the coming school year, which starts next week.
“To see the growth of our kids, the growth of our students, to see them excited about walking in the door again is invigorating,” said Jennifer Winkler, the gifted and talented teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade.
“I use my own kids as a little bit of inspiration, and I feed off of their energy of getting ready for school.”
The first hour of the event was focused on providing the teachers lunch, while the second hour was mainly about having fun and giving away small prizes to teachers during games.
Some teachers, such as Salado High School science teacher Katy Leiskau, spent some of their summer learning to teach new dual enrollment classes. Leiskau is now excited to get back in the classroom and use what she has learned to help her student progress.
“I am teaching a dual enrollment chemistry class this year,” Leiskau said. “Summer is just a time to get away for a second and let your mind disengage a little bit from school. For teachers, unlike other professions, we get an opportunity every year to start fresh.”
The school district has gone through a few changes over the summer, one of which is the voluntary annexation of the Salado ISD campuses into the village of Salado.
Another new change is the planned hiring of a school resource officer for the district, Novotny said. The district will work with the Salado Police Department for the officer position, he said.
“I have experience working with a school resource officer before, when I was a high school principal,” Novotny said. “The first preparation was to ally with the village of Salado and annex in all of our properties into the village. It gave us the opportunity to partner with the (Police Department) and for our school resource officer.”