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E.C. teachers are welcomed back

tone positive with contract settled

August 23, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

The tone of this year's welcome back event for El Centro Elementary School District's teachers and administrators was significantly different from last year's, when teacher contract negotiations had emotions running high.

At Wednesday morning's event at Kennedy Middle School, speakers accentuated the positive things happening in the district, including this spring's contract agreement.

Board of Trustees Vice President Janie Marlborough touched on the issue as she spoke to teachers about the upcoming year.

"It may appear to some that we are opposing forces," Marlborough said, adding that both teachers and board members went through a lot during the contract dispute.

Marlborough, like other speakers Wednesday, was optimistic about the future.

"I envision the accomplishments we can achieve together," she said.

The event, hosted by the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, offered teachers a chance to reconvene as a district and focus attention on the year ahead.

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"The noise level is kind of like the first day in the classroom. And like the first day, no one wants to sit up front," said chamber President John Anderson, who is also, coincidentally, Imperial County's superintendent of schools.

"This is a time to capitalize on your enthusiasm, a time to capture the enthusiasm of your students," Anderson told the audience.

ECESD Superintendent Michael Klentschy congratulated the district's teachers and administrators for raising test scores and encouraged the staff to continue its hard work.

"We're still not where we need to be," Klentschy said, adding that students not only in this district but across the state have a long way to go.

Klentschy pointed out that improving test scores at particular grade levels in specific subjects is the responsibility of all teachers, not just those teaching those particular grades.

Klentschy and Anderson spoke of some changes occurring in the district this year, including the new Valle Imperial Mathematics Teacher Enhancement Project and the implementation of the Power Lunch program in which adult volunteers from the community read during lunchtime sessions with second-graders having difficulty in that subject.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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