By CLINT FOSTER
The time is here. Summer vacation is done and school has begun. And in keeping with tradition, faculty and staff from schools all over Palo Pinto County were warmly welcomed back to work by the annual Mineral Wells Merchants Breakfast & Exhibits at Mineral Wells High School on Monday morning.
Faculty and staff spreading from Mineral Wells to as far as Perrin and Gordon came together to enjoy a bountiful breakfast, a variety of speakers and prize drawings. Secretary Treasurer of the Mineral Wells Merchants Association Mary Motley was in charge of gathering all of the food to feed those in attendance. She estimated around 550 school employees were at the kickoff event.
“I was excited about how it went,” Motley said. “We had two more school districts there than we’d been having: Graford and Gordon showed up. We’re trying to get all the county schools to come. It’s just an appreciation for all school personnel.”
Motley, who began teaching about 45 years ago, said the beginning of the year breakfast has been a tradition for more than 40 years. In the beginning, it was a simple greeting with coffee and donuts. As the event has changed hands, ending up with the Merchants Association, it has grown and evolved.
This year Kevin Tutt of Tutt & Daggs Creative Performance Improvement was on hand as the special guest speaker. He gave a presentation on how teachers can best engage their students. Nurses Wanda Voelker, Melody Singleton, Sharon Huggs, Amanda Carter and Amy Clifton also worked the crowd with their rap about blood borne pathogens.
Mineral Wells Independent School District Public Relations Officer Karyn Bullock said the event is all about the community honoring its schools’ teachers and staff.
“I felt like it was really successful,” Bullock said. “Of course, teachers are always excited to have a free breakfast. The Merchant’s Association has been so generous to do this for years. It’s just their way to say ‘thank you’ to the teachers and help give them a great start for the school year.”
Motley added the event could not have happened if not for the great team of volunteers.
“I just want to thank all the volunteers,” she said. “I could name 10 or 15 that helped me with getting the food on the table. We can’t do it by ourselves, we’ve got to have help.”
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