As the start of a new school year approaches, Dothan City Schools leaders are doing all they can to make sure the staff is ready when students return to class.
You know the summer is over when educators are decorating their classrooms and bus drivers are hitting the road to practice their new bus routes.
On Wednesday at the Wiregrass Church, Dothan City Schools took another big step in preparing to welcome back students.
More than 1,200 principals, teachers, bus drivers, faculty and staff came together to get motivated and fired up for the 2014-2015 school year.
"Anytime you are dealing with people, motivation is a key factor in making sure we are successful," says Personnel Director Todd Weeks.
This year the focus of the annual Dothan City Schools "institute" was management, leadership and not leaving any child behind.
"Educators wear many hats when it comes to children," says Honeysuckle Middle School principal Scott Faulk. "Building on the future, that is top priority."
Through dynamic motivational speakers like Dr. Adolf Brown, DCS administrators hope to make this the best year yet for educators and students.
"This meeting really unites us as Dothan City Schools," said Rebekah Tomlinson, a teacher at Cloverdale Elementary. "It just lets us know we have people backing us. We are a larger team than just our grade level and just our school."
During Wednesday's DCS Institute, the Dothan Education Foundation awarded a total of $40,000 in grant money to 27 school teachers.
Students in the system will begin school on August 13.
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