BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified certificated and classified employees rang in the start of the 2019-20 academic year with the District’s annual Welcome Back event on Aug. 12, featuring breakfast, refreshments and an address from motivational speaker Tyler Durham.

Durham, a former teacher who now presents to students, parents and teachers across the country, centered his talk on finding and keeping joy in your work. He drew on his experiences as a teacher to share the importance of building meaningful relationships with students.

Hosted at Sierra Vista High School, the kick-off celebration included a rally for teachers, secretaries, counselors, nurses and more, with all 20 Baldwin Park Unified schools represented.
From Early Childhood Education to Adult Education, District employees cheered for their respective school sites with color-coordinated props. Pleasant View Elementary staff waved green and yellow pom poms and Olive Middle School employees jumped up in unison with yellow clappers.

“This is going to be an incredibly exciting year in terms of all the amazing things we are going to bring to the District and our students,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “It takes every individual in Baldwin Park Unified to ensure that we are providing an enriching education that gives students a path and helps them be successful in life.”

Durham discussed educator and screenwriter Blake Snyder’s book “Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need,” and shared the plot device in which a main character has a moment where they save a cat. He compared the idea to teaching and how people can impact others, changing the trajectory of their lives, and in essence, saving a cat.

“It is possible to be an educator and work in the education system and miss the whole point,” Durham said. “The difference between a mediocre story and a compelling story always comes down to saving cats.”