The scene resembled a loud, enthusiastic pep rally Tuesday morning as more than 700 local teachers and staff members stomped their feet, waved pom poms, and cheered for their individual schools during an Appreciation Breakfast at Lake-Sumter State College.
The educators received special treatment of being served breakfast by Congressman Daniel Webster, Leesburg Mayor Bob Bone, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, and several Leesburg city and Lake County commissioners. It was the third annual breakfast event geared to kick off the new school year that begins Thursday.
“The theme of this breakfast is ‘Inspire.’ A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite imagination, and instill a love for learning, and that is exactly what you all do every single day,” says Sandi Moore, executive director of the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the event. “Today and this morning is all about recognizing you all and the hard work that you do and what you do for our children. It’s also about hopefully you knowing you have a community that is behind you, that is cheering you on, and that is supporting you throughout the school year, so I hope you take that away.”
Mayor Bone, Congressman Webster, Dr. Stanley Sidor, president of Lake-Sumter State College, Carman Cullen of the Educational Foundation of Lake County, and Lake County Superintendent Diane Kornegay, expressed their appreciation to the teachers and provided words of encouragement.
“A little challenge for you,” the superintendent said in her closing remarks to the teachers. “The level of enthusiasm is amazing this morning. I want to see the same level in your classrooms in December and I want to see it again in May, so just keep it going! Thank you all, and have a tremendous school year.”
The event ended with the teachers and staff members from the different schools loudly cheering and competing for the coveted spirit award, which was won by Rimes Early Learning and Literacy Center, a preschool in Leesburg.