By Conrad Dudderar
A record-high number of bags are being stuffed with gifts to help welcome Yukon’s new teachers.
Yukon’s annual New Teacher Luncheon will be presented Wednesday, Aug. 3 inside The Progress Room, 10 W Main.
There, newly hired personnel from four Yukon-area school districts will be greeted by local business and community leaders.
This luncheon is almost unique to Yukon and makes the new teachers “feel special”, according to Yukon Chamber of Commerce CEO Pam Shelton.
“Nobody does this,” Shelton said. “This luncheon gives our business community a way to welcome these new school employees.”
The Yukon Chamber, which organizes and presents this celebratory luncheon, is collecting small gifts to fill canvas tote bags that will be presented to an estimated 175 new hires.
“This is the most we’ve ever asked for,” Shelton noted. “Last year, we started with 125 and had to increase it to 150.”
About three-fourths of this year’s new Yukon teachers will be from Yukon Public Schools. New personnel from Southwest Covenant Schools, St. John Nepomuk Catholic School and Canadian Valley Technology Center also will be honored at the event.
Teachers and other staff will report to these school sites during the week of Aug. 1 as they prepare for the 2022-23 school year.
Yukon Chamber members are encouraged to bring 175 items to place inside the new teacher bags by Friday, July 29. These “swag” gifts may be dropped off at the Chamber office, 10 W Main – Suite 130.
Chamber staff members were asked what Yukon’s new teachers like to see in their bags.
“Anything that they can use daily – like markers, pens and highlighters,” Yukon Chamber office manager Courtney Dillard said.
Snacks, gift certificates and coupons are welcome too, she added.
GET THERE EARLY
Attendees are asked to arrive before 11:30 a.m. Aug. 3rd for the Yukon New Teacher Luncheon.
Honorees will arrive by school bus in the 10 W Main parking lot where they will be hailed by Yukon Chamber members. The “hero’s welcome” will feature Yukon spirit squads and drum line.
Inside The Progress Room, the noon program will feature each principal introducing their new teachers and administrators to the audience.
Lunch will be provided by Bob Bean Catering.
For decades, this welcome luncheon has been an annual rite-of-passage for YPS teachers as part of the district’s New Teacher Induction Program.
In recent years, the Yukon Chamber has invited Southwest Covenant, St. John Nepomuk and CV Tech to join in the back-to-school celebration.
Cherie Logan-State Farm Insurance and Karri Thompson of Stitch Design underwrite the cost of the tote bags presented to all new teachers.
Shelton credited Logan – a longtime Yukon civic leader and businesswoman – for her steadfast support of the New Teacher Luncheon since its inception. The first luncheon was at Yukon High School.
The first day of Yukon’s new school year will be Thursday, Aug. 11.
Reservations for the Yukon New Teacher Luncheon are due Aug. 1. Cost is $15 per person.
For more information, visit the Yukon Chamber office or call (405) 354-3567.