YPS staff inspired at ‘The Breakfast’

Yukon students, superintendent share message with audience

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Yukon High School senior Addison Carson speaks to the audience inside the YHS Gym during Monday morning’s back-to-school appreciation breakfast for Yukon Public Schools’ employees. The Yukon FFA Chapter president joined Emma McMahon, Charlie Hartley, Emma Jeffrey, and Avery Sims to share their thoughts about how YPS teachers have positively impacted them. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon Public Schools’ longest-tenured teacher joined other honored YPS employees to accept some 40 door prizes during the district’s annual back-to-school breakfast.

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Renae Williamson, with 47 years of service, was among more than 800 YPS staff members who crowded into the Yukon High School Gym on Monday morning, Aug. 8 for “The Breakfast.”

The 2022-23 school year starts this Thursday, Aug. 11.

Dozens of Yukon businesses and organizations decorated tables and provided special gifts and prizes as a show of appreciation to the Yukon school district’s certified and support personnel.

Highlight of the YPS back-to-school breakfast were words shared by five YHS students – Addison Carson, Emma McMahon, Charlie Hartley, Emma Jeffrey, and Avery Sims.

They talked about the positive and uplifting experiences they’ve had, how much their teachers have meant to them and their passion for Yukon Schools.

“This school has had such an impact on my life,” said Carson, the Yukon FFA Chapter president. “The teachers here want to make sure the students are all caught up on our work, and that we understand what is being taught by doing it in an encouraging and positive environment.”

Hartley offered a heartfelt thank-you to all teachers listening in the audience.

“You shape us who we are and inspire us to do our best,” she said.

YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth tells school employees how much they are valued in the community. Simeroth wears a T-shirt that displays the historic Miller Man that the district is again using as its official logo and mascot for 2022-23. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
More than 800 Yukon school district employees and event sponsors crowd into the YHS Gym, 1777 S Yukon Parkway, for the annual school breakfast. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Central Elementary teachers, from left, Lori Parks and Elaine Logan are welcomed at the Delta Kappa Gamma table by local chapter members Neta Duke and Trudy Capraro. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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A LASTING IMPACT

YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth’s voice cracked while describing a letter he received about five years ago when district administrators supported teachers during a controversial “teacher walkout” that temporarily closed school.

The letter was written by Simeroth’s home economics teacher, who told him his late mother would be so proud of him.

“You follow people for life … whether you know it or not,” Simeroth reminded YPS employees. “You do. And it means a lot.”

The letter came three decades after Simeroth had attended home ec class in high school.

“She took the time because I was one of her kids,” he said, fighting back tears. “They’re always ‘your kids’ – even 30 years later.”

At Monday’s breakfast, the YPS chief and members of his leadership team wore gray T-shirts with the iconic Miller Man logo and words “Yukon Public Schools – Est. 1891.”

The Yukon school district has returned to using the historic Miller Man image as its official mascot.

Although YPS does not have a specific theme for this school year, Simeroth emphasized they are focused on unity.

“Life is going to happen, and we’re going to move right along with it,” the superintendent told YPS teachers and staff. “We’re going to do our jobs and we’re going to teach people.
“We’re going to take the situations that we have. We’re going to do the best that we can. And you guys are going to overcome like you always do.”

YPS will be “loving on” its family this school year – specifically the students and community members, Simeroth added.

YHS teachers show off the door prizes they received during “The Breakfast”: Tyler Haisten, Tanner Brown, Carlos Ramirez, and Roy Wycoff. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
YPS veteran employees are honored at “The Breakfast” by receiving door prizes donated by local businesses and organizations. The group was led by teacher Renae Williamson (fourth from right), who has 47 years of service in the Yukon school district. The longest-tenured YPS certified and support personnel at each site were selected to receive the special gifts. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Dr. Simeroth’s voice cracks and he fights back tears as he describes an inspiring letter that he received from his home economics teacher about 30 years after graduating high school. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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