Convocation kicks off the new year
The Ector County Coliseum rocked all morning with ECISD’s Convocation 2018. If you are unfamiliar with Convocation, it is a back-to-school rally for school district employees. Individual schools and departments come out in force, sit together and celebrate the start of a new school year.
This year Convocation started with live music by a student ensemble called ECISD United. The group is a collection of middle school and high school students who showed an interest in jazz, and formed this group just so they can play together and have fun. With a little help from ECISD executive director for fine arts Mark Lyon and professional musician Dan Fornero, they kept the crowd on its feet and clapping as the day began.
Superintendent of Schools Tom Crowe reminded everyone that our school district is doing good work, improving every year, and changing lives every day. “It’s challenging, but in the long run students deserve nothing but your very best,” he said. “That’s what I see you giving every single day.”
This was Mr. Crowe’s final Convocation with Ector County ISD. He is retiring in December. He danced his way to the podium to the song “Connection” by One Republic. In his keynote address to the crowd, he talked about commitment, failure, change, and passion. The very things that have driven him during his career. He said great educators are committed, not just involved. Likewise, great educators are not afraid of failure or change as long as it pushing them forward.
In terms of passion, Mr. Crowe read an e-mail from a former student, one who served on his Student Advisory Council the past two years, who thanked him for sparking her passion to become a teacher. He said the message reminded him of his ‘why.’
“Don’t ever doubt your purpose,” he told the Convocation crowd. “Don’t ever doubt your ‘why.’ Because you’re changing lives every day.”
The day’s second speaker was Jorrion Wilson, Permian High School Class of 2013, and a recent graduate of Harvard University. Jorrion graduated third in his class, participated in choir, football, basketball, and track and field during his time in ECISD. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering.
“I was born and raised on the south side of Odessa, Texas on Seminole Street,” he told the crowd. “A part of this city many of you have never seen and have no desire to see. My mother and grandmother raised me in a single-parent home.” He spoke powerfully of how teachers, coaches and principals – several of whom he mentioned by name – encouraged him, mentored him and shaped him. “We need you. It takes a special person to take on the responsibility of being a teacher.”
As Convocation closed, Mr. Crowe told the crowd he had journals for everyone. A John Maxwell journal with the title “The greatest story ever told.” He implored them to make it their own story by filling the pages with their story of making a difference in the lives of kids.
You will find an album of pictures from Convocation here on our Ector County ISD Facebook page.