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Blackfoot School District kicks off new school year with Extravaganza


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Wapello Principal Anthony Peterson holds up the coveted “Attendance Stick” at the Blackfoot School District meeting held Friday, at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center. The stick is given monthly to the school with the highest attendance. While Donald T. Stalker held the stick for most of the 2016-17 school year, it was Wapello that ended the year holding the stick. | Leslie Sieger,

BLACKFOOT — Blackfoot School District 55 and Snake River School District 52 joined together for the third annual Extravaganza on Friday at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center. National School Public Relations Association representative John Draper spoke to the teachers from both districts, dispelling myths about public schools.

“He described the misconceptions about public school,” said LaNita McRae, a fifth-grade teacher at Donald T. Stalker Elementary. “And he showed us the truth with statistics. The public has been told we (nationwide public schools) have the lowest graduation rate, when actually we have the highest in the history of the nation.”

Draper, began as a middle school science and math teacher in Calera, Alabama, according to his website biography. One of his favorite positions was middle school assistant principal, after which he became the first principal at Oak Mountain Middle School in Shelby County, Alabama.

From there he served just one year as principal at Homewood High School before he was chosen to lead the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, a non-profit association representing all school administrators in the state.

After listening to the speaker teachers were served up barbecue for lunch prepared by trustees from both districts. Vendors, such as the Blackfoot Community Center, were available to inform guests about what they have to offer.

Blackfoot Superintendent Brian Kress, spoke to teachers in the district, recognizing new teachers and giving encouragement for the new school year.

“There will be tough times,” Kress said. “There always is. Ask for help. It is not a weakness to ask for help.”

Kress also told the audience he has two goals for the year, “We are a family, my first goal this year is to strengthen the family. We will achieve greatness. My second goal is to bring joy back in education.”