Guest speaker Derrick Tennant addressed CCSD teachers at Tuesday’s seminar – Valley Times-News
The Chambers County School District held its annual back-to-school seminar and teacher training conference, known as The Institute, this Tuesday at the Valley Sportsplex Gymnasium. The conference included several teacher recognitions, superintendent updates and a keynote speaker.
Sheila Jones, Director of K-8 Curriculum and Instruction, took the time to recognize the teachers who worked during the summer reading program. As a reward for their efforts, any teacher who worked the summer program for 13 days or more received a free personal day.
“We had several [teachers] who went there and were willing to volunteer their time this summer to help our students improve their reading scores,” Jones said. “Thank you for all your hard work.”
Following the recognitions, Jones introduced all of the CCDS directors and shared an interesting fact about each one.
“A lot of times in our workplaces, we really don’t take a lot of time to get to know each other. And so there may be things that you don’t know about the principal of your school,” Jones said. “What I’m going to do is lay down the red carpet and bring them in while I share something about each of them.”
Each director’s excerpts varied widely from director to director and often had a humorous twist. It’s been shared that Inspire Academy headmaster Tyler Nelson is well-versed in impersonations, with his top two being Kermit the Frog and Richard Nixon.
The keynote speaker for the event was comedian and motivational speaker Derrick Tennant. Tennant was a promising athlete throughout high school and dreamed of becoming a professional athlete, however, he unexpectedly suffered what doctors would later call random x-spot bleeding for an unknown reason. Paralyzed and in a coma, Tennant underwent brain surgery that left him paralyzed on his left side. After his athletic career ended, Tennant focused on helping others who faced seemingly insurmountable odds through comedy, magic, and inspirational speeches.
During his speech, Tenant attributed his success and growth to the love he received from his family, friends, mentor and faith. He encouraged teachers to keep showering love on their students and pushing them towards success, even when they felt like the odds were stacked against them. He also encouraged teachers to approach their work and their students with a positive attitude, which he considered the “good side of things”.
“A lot of people say always look on the bright side, but I always say look on the bright side,” Tennant said, pointing to his paralyzed left side. “A single act of love can completely change someone’s life.”