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First Lady Inspires During Staff District Opener

Minnesota's First Lady Gwen Walz Inspires During Staff District Opener
Posted on 08/29/2019
Teachers, staff and administrators from all schools in District 281 gathered at Armstrong High School on Tuesday, August 27 for the annual Back to School Breakfast, hosted by the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers (RFT), and District Opener Celebration.

The District Opener started with a flag presentation by local Boy Scout Troop 534, and Armstrong Senior Sara Shiff wowed the audience with an amazing vocal performance of National Anthem.

The Cooper High School Drum Line and high school cheer squads marched through the auditorium, leading the district's new teachers to their seats. Next, School Board Chair John Vento and RFT President Peter Eckhoff shared welcoming remarks. School Board Director David Boone introduced the surprise keynote speaker - Minnesota's First Lady Gwen Walz, who spoke at the invitation of Superintendent Jenkins.

Ms. Walz was greeted with a standing ovation. She spoke for more than 40 minutes, sharing stories of inspiration and motivation from her experiences as a teacher and now First Lady, easily shifting from humorous to seriousness. Her message was one of service and transformation. "The power to transform is that of education. ... For us, for this school district, for all of you embarking on a new year, there is an internal sense of learning, an empathy and humanity, and the re-centering of a vision thinking of those we serve," she said.

Armstrong Senior performs the National Anthem.
 Cooper Drum Line leading new teachers into the auditorium.
 Teachers are excited for the new school year.  Dr. Jenkins with First Lady Walz, members of the school board and other guests.