XENIA — Xenia schools found the “perfect” way to get teachers ready for the first day of school next Monday.
Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning — who threw Major League Baseball’s 12th perfect game Sept. 16, 1988 against the Los Angeles Dodgers — entertained the group with his stories from the diamond, dugout and spring training.
Admittedly not a motivated student — all Browning wanted to do was play for the Reds — he did have high praise for the teaching profession.
“Thank for you what you do, thank you for what you do when we turn our kids over to you,” the Reds Hall of Famer said. “Like I say, you’re probably more under-appreciated than anything else.”
It wasn’t until his playing career was over and he became a pitching coach in the Reds minor league system (including two years with the Dayton Dragons) that Browning understood what teaching was all about.
“The thing the I enjoyed probably more than anything else was being a teacher/coach,” Browning said. “Because I got to share some great moments with some kids that were chasing their dream. To see them make it … and enjoy their careers was probably one of the coolest things for me.”
Long-time educator Jim Mahoney warmed up the crowd with an energetic and sometimes humorous charge about being an educator.
He served as a teacher, principal and educator and then joined Battelle for Kids, a not-for-profit that partners with school districts, state departments of education, and business and philanthropic organizations throughout the world to advance educational equity and opportunity for all students. This work has impacted more than six million students and more than 400,000 educators nationwide.
“Our convocation is a great time to get all of our staff together and get them energized for the start of the school year,” Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton said. “It’s a time for us to share accomplishments and accolades. This year our two guest speakers, Jim Mahoney, and Tom Browning, spoke about the important role teachers play in the lives of students.”
Prior to Browning, personnel director Mike Earley introduced the new teachers and administrators. Staff and faculty celebrating 30 years were also recognized.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.