Tuscaloosa County hosts pep rally for faculty, staff ahead of first day back

Tuscaloosa County School System teachers joined together Monday to get back into the school spirit ahead of the first day back on Wednesday.

The event, called Institute, is basically a big pep rally for faculty and staff to get them pumped up for the school year that starts this week.

There were more than 2,000 county school system employees inside Coleman Coliseum on Monday.

Guest speakers included Julio Delgado from Apple Education and author Billy Ivey.

“I really wanted to make a difference in my students’ lives and in the community,” said first-year teacher Lyndsay Simpson. “I am so excited to get to know them and pour into this next generation.”

Haley Sime, who’s beginning her teaching career at Big Sandy Elementary School, said it’s all about the students.

“My message to my students would be, ‘I am right there with you,’ ” Sime said. “I am learning and growing alongside you. We are going to figure it out together.”

Veteran teachers said they’re just as excited as the newbies.

“I remember as a kid my mom used to say I’d line my baby dolls up and pretend like they were my students and would teach them,” said Angela Galloway, who has been teaching for 17 years. “Even from a young age, I knew I wanted to do something to help my community and watch them move on.”

Lynn Blankley has also been teaching for 17 years.

“I started wanting to be a teacher when I was in the third grade,” she said. “I have a passion for learning and for helping the other kids do it, too.”

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