By LAURA HAMMACK, guest columnist

It is such an exciting time across the district of Brown County Schools.

Our students successfully started school with smiles on their faces and, in some cases, a few yawns.

Our educators had all sorts of creative activities planned for the first few days of school, and because of this we didn’t see too many tears from our little ones who may have otherwise been missing Mommy and Daddy.

Brown County Schools welcomed 14 new educators to our team this year. Some of them taught in other districts before they chose to come to Brown County Schools, while others are starting their teaching career in our district.

We are genuinely honored to share that two of our new team members are graduates of Brown County High School. It is very special to witness our own school family members returning to their home district to share their gifts with a new generation of young people.

This team of new educators will slowly be exposed, through a comprehensive orientation process, to what we affectionately term, “The Brown County Way.” Our new team members have already participated in two days of orientation before school started where we gave them a taste of what we believe about teaching and learning in this school district.

We will continue to meet with this team in six more sessions over the course of the school year where we will expose them to various topics that we believe make this district special. With an intentional and systematic induction process, we intend to support our new educators so that they choose to stay with our district for the entirety of their careers.

I have had the opportunity to lead 10 new staff orientation groups over the course of my career, and I can honestly say, with no hesitation, that this team of new educators is the best I have ever had the opportunity to know.

We are impressed with their level of engagement, comprehensive knowledge base and obvious passion for their educational practice. The team of building principals and teachers who conducted the search process to recruit and retain these new educators did a fantastic job and our students are now the beneficiaries of their hard work.

While we are intentional with our district-wide orientation programming, the individual school buildings are also implementing their own orientation programming so that the new team of educators feels supported by their own team of fellow colleagues.

At the building level, our new team members will be introduced to the various online applications for student data management, grading practices, communication strategies and other building specifics.

The “Brown County Way” insists that our new team members feel supported and encouraged while they become a part of the family that is Brown County Schools. Our veteran educators make that happen with their own leadership, and make sure to model the required sense of humor that comes along with being an educator.

Please visit the Brown County Schools website at to see photographs of the new staff team members, pics from the first day of school, and a video that was shared at our opening day kickoff team meeting.

Thank you for your support of our new team of educators, and we hope to see you at one of our upcoming events soon.

Laura Hammack is superintendent of Brown County schools.