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Teachers, staff head back to classrooms

CK School District Superintendent Cathy Davidson greeted the Central Kitsap teachers and support staff at Klahowa High school Wednesday afternoon during the 2003 Welcome Back Festival. An estimated 900 teachers and staff attended the event, which also featured 19 CK/Silverdale business on hand to offer discounts to school district employees. - Photo by Jesse Beals
CK School District Superintendent Cathy Davidson greeted the Central Kitsap teachers and support staff at Klahowa High school Wednesday afternoon during the 2003 Welcome Back Festival. An estimated 900 teachers and staff attended the event, which also featured 19 CK/Silverdale business on hand to offer discounts to school district employees.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The new school year is here — at least for faculty and staff. Students still have about four days to go.

About 900 Central Kitsap School District employees ushered in the 2003-04 year at a Welcome Back Festival held Wednesday, Aug. 27 at Klahowya Secondary School.

“It’s always nice to see teachers you don’t usually see,” said Linda Nelson, kindergarten teacher at Jackson Park Elementary. She and fellow Jackson Park kindergarten teacher Marge Dyer are looking forward to acquainting students with the concept of school and watching them mature exponentially during the year.

“By the end of kindergarten they’ve come so far,” Dyer said.

Getting ready to help students grow and learn was the topic of the 45-minute program presented at the annual festival.

“We look forward to an exciting year of learning and education,” said Chris Stokke, Central Kitsap School Board president. He and the entire school board attended the ceremony as did community dignitaries.

The district has hired 46 new certified employees, all but seven are teachers. About 15 new support staff have been hired with the number expected to double, said Bruce Hobert, director of human resources for the district. CKSD has 823 certified employees and 855 support staff.

The event was sponsored by the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. Several area businesses and organizations had games and booths outside the school.

“My heart is filled with pride,” said Cathy Davidson, CKSD superintendent.

“How fortunate we are to be chosen to serve our community,” she said. Davidson said the community works together to nurture and help students transform and mature.

“Hope is born, lives are changed and we genuinely get to know and care for each other,” Davidson said.

Christi McCorkle, president for the Central Kitsap Education Association, welcomed the teachers by comparing teaching to Harry Potter.

An avid fan of the book series, McCorkle pointed out similarities, such as types of students represented by the series’ characters and the OWLS test she likened to the WASL.

Then the group heard from one of the thousands of students they serve.

“Each of you has influenced a student even if you haven’t realized it yet,” Diana Arper, student representative for the school board told the crowd.

She described how as a freshman she didn’t care for English, but a teacher changed all that. He saw her willingness to try rather than what she may have lacked.

Karen Wick, a sixth-grade teacher at Silverdale Elementary, said she felt pride hearing Arper’s words. Arper is an alumna of Silverdale Elementary and was in the first group of students Wick saw as a teacher.

“Her remarks reminded us to get to know each kid individually,” Wick said.

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