Hundreds of Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) teachers, administrators and support staff gathered at West Side Leadership Academy to kick off the school year with the Back-to-School Convocation on Wednesday, August 7. This annual event is one way that the District welcomes staff back with an inspiring message as a catalyst for a successful academic year.
“This is a child’s world and we are the adults who are fortunate to work in it,” said Dr. Peter Morikis, Emergency Manager of the Gary Schools. “Everything we do is for the children. It will take everyone in every school, every day doing their best to make this a successful school year.”
Bringing greetings and well wishes to the energetic audience of educators was Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Gary Teachers Union President Gleneva Dunham, Urban League of NWI President and CEO Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud and Indiana State Representative Dr. Vernon Smith.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, donning a Gary Community School Corporation t-shirt, sent a video expressing his excitement over the District’s progress and well wishes for a great school year. Visit to view the Governor’s message.
The keynote speaker of the opening ceremony was educator, author and motivational speaker Dr. Steve Perry. A respected contributor on networks including MSNBC, Fox, CNN, BET and NBC, Perry is an educator upon whom celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey and Bishop T.D. Jakes have called on to offer insight on parents and children.
Other activities throughout the day included professional development trainings for teachers, administrators and support staff. The lunch break and networking time featured a food truck fest where employees could choose from a variety of culinary offerings.
“We really wanted today’s experience to get everyone fired up for the school year,” said Dr. Nakia Douglas, Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer for the District. “We’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and now it’s time for us to open our doors and show the students and parents that we are ready to deliver and expect excellence.”
The first of day school for Gary students was August 8.