By Conrad Dudderar
A record crowd – totaling 320 people – converged on Redstone Intermediate School this week for the annual New Teacher Luncheon.
Yukon business and community leaders came out in force Aug. 8 to welcome nearly 190 new teachers and certified personnel to town.
“We’re one of the fastest-growing zip codes in the country, so your classes are going to keep on growing,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby told the group gathered inside Redstone’s impressive school cafeteria.
“So, we are so thankful that you are here. Welcome to our community and thank you for being in the best profession ever.”
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce has presented the New Teacher Luncheon since the early ‘90s, with the Yukon school district’s newest site serving as this year’s host. Redstone opened in fall 2020 at Britton and Mustang roads north of Yukon.
“I just want to tell you how lucky we are to have each and every one of you here,” Mayor Selby told the assemblage. “I also want to tell you how lucky you are to be here.
“One, because you’re in the most honorable profession. You will shape and mold the leaders of tomorrow. That little boy or girl that you have in pre-K may be our next president or police chief – so be sure and be kind.”
Selby, a child therapist, is a former school counselor and teacher. She spent 14 years of a 30-year education career in Yukon Schools.
“You have chosen the best school district in the State of Oklahoma,” said Selby, her words eliciting cheers from the giddy audience. “This is the best. They will treat you better than any other district.”
Tuesday’s luncheon honored not just the 157 new teachers joining Yukon Public Schools – but 15 others at Southwest Covenant Schools and Canadian Valley Technology Center.
New teachers from St. John Nepomuk Catholic School and King’s Gate Christian School also were invited but could not attend due to scheduling conflicts.
Principals took turns introducing the new personnel at their school sites to the luncheon audience.
All teachers who came Tuesday were each presented an embroidered canvas bag chock full of “swag” items and other treasured gifts donated by Yukon businesses and organizations.
Members of Yukon’s cheerleading and pom squads greeted the new YPS hires as they walked off Yukon Miller activity busses in front of Redstone School.
Inside the foyer, luncheon attendees gave all new teachers a true hero’s welcome with a copious quantity of cheers and hand claps.
After matriculating into the cafeteria, the large contingent of newly hired school personnel heard about just what a special place they’ve come to work.
Yukon’s mayor described an “amazing” community that is a “tight knit” group.
“If you can’t tell already, this community supports our educators 100%,” Selby told the newbies. “You have the best community. We love and honor you, and we hold you in the best esteem.
“Yukon is some kind of wonderful!” she added, describing some amenities the city offers. “We invite you to get out and engage in our community. If you don’t live here already, you’re going to want to move here.”
Yukon Chamber Board President Jarrid Wright was emcee for the Aug. 8th New Teacher Luncheon.
Pastor Tim Knox of LifeChurch-Yukon presented the invocation, offering thanks to Yukon’s community leaders, the school district and all new teachers.
All attendees enjoyed a tasty meal of fettuccine and meatballs from Bob Bean Catering with tea from HTeaO.
Stitch Design and Cherie Logan-State Farm Insurance sponsored the new teacher bags while Floral 23 provided floral arrangements for the tables.