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Written By JON LANCE

News Telegram Photographer

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Sulphur Springs Independent School District held its welcome back convocation for all staff at Sulphur Springs Middle School Monday morning.

The assembly began with a French horn solo of the Star Spangled Banner, followed by opening remarks from Superintendent Michael Lamb. Lamb began his speech welcoming the staff to the 2014-2015 school year. Lamb also thanked the members of the school board for their hard work and dedication in meeting the needs of students. “We are blessed to have an outstanding school board.” said Lamb. “They are a great team of seven people that have your best interests in mind.” After his welcome, Lamb invited board President Don Sapaugh to the stage. Sapaugh focused his speech with the faculty on what it meant to care for students. Sapaugh pulled from his pocket a small Swiss army style knife, showing it to the faculty. Sapaugh said the knife had several tools, such as scissors, tweezers, nail file, toothpick and blade much like each teacher has tools at their disposal to help their students. “All of the items on this knife hold a specific purpose.” said Sapaugh. “Teachers, you have your curriculum, IT department, principals and great facilities members, but the best tool you can use this year is your attitude.” Sapaugh ended his speech with a quote for the gospel of Matthew 22:39 saying that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. “As a school board, we encourage you to be busy about loving others,” finished Sapaugh. As Sapaugh left the stage, Sulphur Springs High School Student Body President Payton Howard entered the stage with a guitar in hand. Howard talked about the his nervousness he had on his first day of school when he entered SSISD during his kindergarden year. Howard explained that if it was not for the kindness of his teacher singing a song at the beginning of class entitled “Welcome to School,” Howard would not made it through his first day. “This song pumped me up for the rest of the day, and for the whole school year that year. I want everyone to help me sing that song with me today,” he said. Howard then led the entire SSISD staff in a sing-a-long to the lyrics “Welcome to School.” Teachers clapped and sang the chorus as Howard played his guitar. The SSISD welcome back convocation continued the rest of the morning until lunch followed by staff meetings in the afternoon. The first day of school starts Aug. 25, except for Sulphur Springs High School which begins the following day, Aug. 26.

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