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Teacher rally at East Ridge stadium to start school year

District 833 teachers rallied at East Ridge High School's stadium to start the school year in a "pep fest type atmosphere," Superintendent Keith Jacobus recounted for the South Washington County School Board on Sept. 1.

Patriotic songs, plus Prince's "1999" and a medley of three high schools' fight songs, highlighted the kickoff of the school year, as well as appearances by cheerleaders and school mascots.

Jacobus was joined at the microphone by school board chairman Ron Kath and six students—Ryder Sitcawich and RJ Altman, Jerrod Caguingin and Jossely Caguingin, and Alicia Zhang and Tre Edgerton.

Kath told the teachers that "this school board is their biggest cheerleaders," he said.

When Edgerton read Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again," teachers rose for a standing ovation.

Then, in a passionate plea, he asked every teacher to realize: "You guys have the power to create our future. I don't think you heard that. Every single one of you, you have the power to create the future. Are you willing to give your best for all of us the whole year? If every single one of you are willing to make that sacrifice and that dedication, I want you to come onto the field right now. Yeah, I'm calling you out. I want every single one of you to come onto the field. Right now."