McKINNEY (Aug. 13, 2014) — McKinney Independent School District teachers and local community leaders expressed their enthusiasm about the fast-approaching school year as they gathered to share a meal and a vision for the future at McKinney Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business and Education New Teacher Welcome Breakfast.

More than 300 teachers and paraprofessionals will join the district for the 2014-15 academic year, and the Aug. 13 event at McKinney Boyd High School offered newcomers a chance to meet each other and get acquainted with administrators. Teachers also browsed a long hallway full of booths of local businesses showcasing their products and services.

Ray Eckenrode, Chairman of the McKinney Chamber, opened the program by welcoming Pastor Mark Turman of Crosspoint Church for the invocation and McKinney High School’s jazz ensemble for the national anthem.

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Will Windham, Chief Operating Officer of Presenting Sponsor Medical Center of McKinney, said he is the son of a teacher and understands the vital role played by educators.

“I can attest to the impact you will have on each student who walks through your door, whether they realize it at the time or not,” he said.

Keynote speaker Susan Pierce, retired Superintendent of Moore (Okla.) School District, presented an address touching on the ways teachers can inspire students on a daily basis, as well as during more extraordinary times.

Pierce was due to retire the day after the devastating tornado outbreak that hit Moore in May 2013. That storm claimed the lives of nine students and a teacher. Several of them were killed when the tornado tore through an elementary school.

She described the actions of teachers who helped their children ‘shelter in place’ and later lifted them out of rubble.


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“These are the kind of people that you and I work with, the angels who have dedicated their lives to the safety, welfare and education of your children,” Pierce said.

She told teachers to “never lose sight or give up on things you believe in – your faith, family, friends, those who keep you grounded” because clear focus helps anyone survive challenges.

Dr. J.D. Kennedy, McKinney Superintendent, recognized the Chamber, sponsors and each school’s Teacher of the Year.

“I firmly believe educational partnership is essential for quality education, and you will find no more supportive community than this one,” Kennedy said.

Chamber events like the Business and Education New Teacher Welcome Breakfast happen because of volunteers who dedicate countless hours to ensuring their success. Michael Dodson has chaired the annual event six years in a row and credits the hardworking staff, but anyone who has worked with Michael recognizes his commitment sets the stage for a great event.

Amber Sharp, a teacher new to McKinney this fall, strolled from booth to booth as she left the event. She said she appreciated the breakfast and the chance to meet other teachers. “My favorite part was the keynote speaker,” Sharp said. “I thought what she had to say to us as teachers was incredibly inspirational.”


About the McKinney Chamber of Commerce

The McKinney Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for the McKinney business community and proudly serves as the unified business voice of McKinney. The Chamber represents over 39,000 employees from more than 1,230 business investors in McKinney and throughout the North Texas region. With a rich heritage of leadership and collaboration, the Chamber works in concert with the City of McKinney, community partners and the corporate community to promote, advocate for and expand business. As publisher of McKinney Magazine, and, the McKinney Chamber markets the community’s advantages as the foremost location for doing business and to keep a growing community connected. The Chamber is celebrating its Centennial in 2014 recognizing 100 years of service to the McKinney Business Community and City of McKinney.