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Student urges "teaching with SOUL"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Evan Mahon, a student from District 49, speaks to district employees at recent back-to-school gathering. (Photo courtesy of District 49).

Evan Mahon, a student from District 49, speaks to district employees at recent back-to-school gathering. (Photo courtesy of District 49).

Approximately 1,600 employees from across District 49 convened at a recent back-to-school event at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs and received encouragement in a special speech from a soon-to-be high school senior.

Evan Mahon, student body president at Vista Ridge High School, encouraged the district's faculty to apply concepts he called “teaching with SOUL" -- an acronym for being "Sincere," or authentic and genuine; "Overcoming" or confronting adversity; being "Unique" or original; and "Leading" others to create a positive environment.

During his remarks, Mahon received an enthusiastic ovation from staff members from more than 20 schools and district offices. Mahon said they have an important role in in preparing students for their next phase in life.

“Everybody in this room has been touched and mentored by an adult — someone you looked up to, who helped you become an educator, be confident in yourself," he said. “I’ve had so many different teachers that have touched my life and helped me grow and develop and become the leader and student I am today. Whatever position you have in the district, the nature of our school district this year must be collaborative and cooperative, rather than competitive. We must focus this year on making sure we are authentic and genuine with everything we do.”

Reflecting on a recent hike up Pikes Peak with about 50 others from District 49, Mahon said the climb “shows our strength, dedication, and how we are excited and innovative.

“You are the most influential group of workers in this nation, building the future leaders and citizens of the world. How powerful would our world be if we had kids who weren't afraid to take risks, meet new people, think like innovators, know they can change the world, who weren't afraid to think and who all had a champion in their lives? As a student, it is so humbling to see the amount of commitment and energy given by teachers throughout the year. We are truly blessed to be around educators who care about our growth and development as young adults.”



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