The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop Elgin ISD from kicking off its school year with the usual annual festivities, although this year’s convocation took place via Zoom instead of in the high school cafeteria.
The convocation was conducted through an online video conference on Thursday morning, hosted by Elgin ISD Superintendent Jodi Duron and School Board President Byron Mitchell.
The virtual event began with opening remarks from Duron, who announced that the theme for the year is “resilient” in light of the past five months of challenges presented by the pandemic. Resilience can mean the ability to “bounce forward” during times of change, as well as the ability to adapt and bend to new challenges.
Next, each of the school principals and Elgin ISD department leaders shared their thoughts on how their team is being resilient and adaptable throughout these challenging times. Each talk was followed by a video put together by that school or department, with creative ideas ranging from a song set to guitar music by the maintenance and operations department to teachers forming a giant “EES” on the roof of the Elgin Elementary School building. The videos, themed “Why Elgin ISD?”, were this year’s version of last year’s competitive dance-off between the schools and departments.
This year’s guest speaker was Roy Spence, a cofounder of the advertising company GSD&M who has been working in marketing and advertising for 47 years. He has worked with companies such as Southwest Airlines, Walmart and more, and has worked on public service announcements to help during disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. He started an initiative called the Promiseland Project in 2018 to help bridge the cultural divide in America.
While speaking at the virtual convocation, in addition to his own stories about resilience and about how he got where he is today, Spence talked about Elgin ISD’s mission of making a positive change in lives and the importance of getting past partisanship and prioritizing purpose over politics.