Motivational speaker Joshua Peach inspires CCSD teachers

Published 9:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

Chambers County School District held its second annual Welcome Back Teacher’s Breakfast and Teacher Institute where motivational keynote speaker Joshua Peach spoke.

Superintendent Dr. Casey Chambley spoke to the staff about the improvements that CCSD has had over the summer including the teacher raises. 

Many teachers also received recognition for their hard work during the Summer Reading and Math Camp. 

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Chambley also praised the schools for the improvement that students have made overall across the district. 

Eastside Elementary had a reading proficiency of 35% in its second and third grade students in spring 2022. In 2023, the reading proficiency was 76%. Bob Harding-Shawmut Elementary in the spring of 2022 had 86% proficiency. Chambley said that in some classrooms the proficiency was 94% in 2023. 

Chambley also said the school district needs to work together as one to run effectively.

“Happy employees are good employees, and if you’re happy with your job, you do good work, and we want to do the things that make you happy,” Chambley said. “But we can’t always make decisions that make you happy. And we’re going to make decisions sometimes that you’re not going to agree with, but we have to do that because we have to make decisions for kids. We can’t make decisions for adults.”

Over 450 staff members attended. Peach spoke to the group about leaving behind a legacy and making an impact on students’ lives, especially throughout the pandemic. 

“He shared a lot with you. And that’s a rarity, when a superintendent gets vulnerable and shares the bad and the good. But the only thing I heard was those reading scores going up, those test scores going up,” Peach said. “The only thing I’ve heard while I was thinking about that was the pride and the applause that you gave yourself because you deserve it. The thing that I was thinking about is those second graders. They’re the first COVID kids.”

Peach started his company, Be Au Sm, in 2018. Since then, he has traveled around the country — as far as Fairbanks, Alaska — as a motivational speaker to encourage others. Peach spoke on the importance of living one’s legacy and having gratitude. 

During his speech, he told many stories about the people in his life that left a lasting impression on him. He talked about the importance of not waiting to say thank you to those who make an impact. 

“You should all be very proud of yourselves,” he said. “You’ve done a wonderful job, and I appreciate the honor to be here.”

Peach told the teachers to remember that they have the chance to make a difference in a child’s life every day. 

“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with,” Peach said.