OPS, DCPS host opening day ceremonies

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Aug. 10—Owensboro Public Schools and Daviess County Public Schools hosted their opening day ceremonies Tuesday in preparation for the first day of school Wednesday, Aug. 10.

This was the first year both districts held in-person ceremonies since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

OPS Superintendent Matthew Constant spoke to staff about the 2022-2027 strategic plan goals for the district.

The plan consists of three pillars holding up the student: families, staff and community. Within those pillars are ways to strengthen the students' well-being inside and outside of the school.

"We couldn't be more excited to get back to school," Constant said. "We're hoping for the most normal feeling compared to the last few years. We've just been motivated by Dr. (Adolph) Brown, who is really challenging us to see every child for who they are and appreciate all of the things that make them unique."

Constant said he could feel the energy and motivation in the room during the ceremony.

"I know that all of our 850 staff, our family, are going to take that out there to our kids," he said. "I couldn't be more excited about the message. Our OPS family is going to deliver."

This year, a total of $29,532 was distributed during the OPS opening day ceremony for 21 mini-grants to schools in the district for the 2022-23 academic year.

Brown, a clinical psychologist and mental health expert, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony, discussing different aspects of education that teachers can be mindful of entering the new school year.

One of those aspects was that everyone carries around two backpacks — one on the outside and one on the inside.

Bart Darrell, district alumnus and vice president of the Owensboro Health Commonwealth West Healthcare Workforce Innovation Center, was the keynote speaker at DCPS' opening ceremony Tuesday.

Some of Darrell's key points during his speech were about letting students follow their own dreams and supporting them along the way.

DCPS superintendent Matt Robbins said he is excited for the new school year.

"It never fails that after so many years of school startups, they always make you a little anxious and nervous," he said. "I'm really excited to get back to, what we feel like, is a more normal situation for all of our students and staff."

With the opening day ceremony, Robbins said the goal is to get the staff excited about the first day, giving them positive energy and affirmations.

DCPS distributed several awards to staff during their ceremony on Tuesday, including:

—Kids First Support Professional Award — Tracy Weedman.

—Kids First Customer Service Awards — Bonnie O'Bryan.

—Elementary School Teacher of the Year — Lisa Greer, third-grade teacher at Burns Elementary School.

—Middle School Teacher of the Year — Melody Wallace, language arts teacher at College View Middle School.

—High School Teacher of the Year — Bo Phelan, English teacher at Apollo High School.