Welcome Back Teachers
Sayville School District holds Welcome-Back Assembly for All Personnel
September 2, 2010 was the first-day-back for returning teachers, aides, and 10-month staff who were invited, along with the 12-month personnel, to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year. After a delicious breakfast buffet provided by the Food and Nutrition Department the assembly convened in the Middle School auditorium for words of welcome from the district’s new superintendent, Dr. Walter Schartner.
Receiving a warm reception, including a standing ovation from the staff, Dr. Schartner asked the audience to remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and then the National Anthem, sung by this year’s NYSSMA All-State Vocalist James Harlin.
Dr. Schartner announced and introduced the new appointments in the district before admitting that his new vantage point as Superintendent officiating on opening day was indeed “strange. For 32 years I was sitting in one of those seats,” he pointed toward the audience. “And it seems all of a sudden, I am up here now in my 33rd year.”
Although honored by their faith in him, Dr. Schartner expressed the hard reality of the voyage ahead. The entire district would be embarking on a year with many challenges as he summed up various state and federal mandates over which “we have little or no control. I have resigned myself, a long time ago, to dwell on those things over which we do have control …We need to focus on the students who show up in our classrooms. We need to give them their foundation for success. We need to focus on Sayville’s culture, which is excellence in academics, the arts, teaching good character, and certainly excellence in athletics.”
Dr. Schartner reminded everyone--no matter what capacity they serve within the district--that “you are making a profound change” in the lives of the students.
Offering another way of changing focus, Dr. Schartner pledged “to take away the title of Central Office and make it more central services, services to help you do the best job possible in the your classrooms and to make a difference to the students who show up there, because that is why we are all here.”
The new superintendent concluded with heartfelt thanks for “your very humbling reception …I hope I can come near to living up to your expectations.” Dr. Schartner added he was looking forward to continue working with the true professionals that he has already had the pleasure of working with for the past 32 years.”
Dr. Schartner closed with a video presentation, emailed to him by Ms. Karen Savage, which perfectly summed up the “Heart of the Teacher.”