Lighthearted breakfast gathering welcomes teachers, staff for new schol year


VANDALIA — The Force was with the teachers and staff of the Vandalia-Butler City Schools as they met for their annual kickoff breakfast at the Hangar at First Baptist Church.

Teachers and staff were encouraged to dress up as their favorite television or movie character which made for a fun morning which included the Butler High School Marching Band playing the Aviator fight song.

First Baptist Church Pastor David Starry welcomed the staff and reminded them that the community has their back much as family members have each other’s backs.

“It’s important to understand that in a community, I think we are family,” said Starry. “I think we have a responsibility to one another to have each other’s backs. I think I can speak for all the churches in our community – we have your back. We know you have a tough job. We know you love these students or you wouldn’t be doing what you are doing, but I think its encouraging to know that someone has your back.”

Treasurer Eric Beavers, also known as Darth Vader, was accompanied by “ruthless” storm troopers and reminded those in attendance that he was “Lord Vader, the one and the only of the checkbook” to much laughter.

Beavers called the latest contract negotiations between the Vandalia-Butler Education Association (VBEA) and the district a “strong force.” That 15-month process reworked every aspect of the contract and has praised by both the district and the VBEA.

“You should all be proud of the work that was done,” said Beavers. “The collaboration, the insight, and the vision they had they never lost sight of who they were there representing. They had your interest at heart, but more importantly they had the students of this district and the members of this community at heart. That’s not an easy task or a normal task.”

Superintendent Rob O’Leary, standing in for Luke Skywalker, then vanquished Lord Vader and took the podium.

“Is anyone else bothered by the fact that my core team is all on the dark side of the force,” he asked to laughter.

O’Leary, who began his education career 19 years ago as a teacher in the district, has held many different positions both in Vandalia-Butler and other districts. He said those experiences have taught him how valuable each staff member is.

“It takes a lot of work to educate students,” O’Leary said. “It takes all of us, and all us are important -every job, every person. Over the past 19 years I’ve come to appreciate the excellence that is the Vandalia-Butler City Schools.”

After watching a video with short interviews of Butler’s graduates in May, O’Leary charged the teachers and staff with their task for the new school year.

“Sometimes it takes a very long time for us to see the fruit of our work, but you see in those videos all that we’ve done,” he said. “All the work that we do together with our students prepares them for life beyond the education they receive in the Vandalia-Butler City Schools. Thank you for all you do for the students in our district…may the force be with you.”

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Butler staff dressed up as the cast of Christmas Vacation won the costume contest at Monday’s opening breakfast for teachers and staff.
http://www.vandaliadrummernews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2017/08/web1_Teachers1.jpgButler staff dressed up as the cast of Christmas Vacation won the costume contest at Monday’s opening breakfast for teachers and staff. Photo by Darrell Wacker | AIM Media Midwest

Superintendent Rob O’Leary, also known as Luke Skywalker, vanquished Darth Vader and sent teachers and staff into the new school year with Skywalker’s famous “May the Force be with you.”
http://www.vandaliadrummernews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2017/08/web1_Teachers2.jpgSuperintendent Rob O’Leary, also known as Luke Skywalker, vanquished Darth Vader and sent teachers and staff into the new school year with Skywalker’s famous “May the Force be with you.” Photo by Darrell Wacker | AIM Media Midwest

The Butler High School Marching Aviators played the fight song as teachers and staff joined to kick off the 2017-18 school year.
http://www.vandaliadrummernews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2017/08/web1_Band.jpegThe Butler High School Marching Aviators played the fight song as teachers and staff joined to kick off the 2017-18 school year. Photo by Darrell Wacker | AIM Media Midwest

Treasurer Eric Beavers, also known as “Lord Vader of the checkbook” is flanked by a pair of storm troopers while Priness Leia (Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Anaka Johnson) looks on.
http://www.vandaliadrummernews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2017/08/web1_Teachers3.jpgTreasurer Eric Beavers, also known as “Lord Vader of the checkbook” is flanked by a pair of storm troopers while Priness Leia (Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Anaka Johnson) looks on. Photo by Darrell Wacker | AIM Media Midwest
Lighthearted breakfast gathering welcomes teachers, staff

By Darrell Wacker

dwacker@AIMMediaMidwest.com

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaButler.

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