LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Longview ISD held their convocation for teachers on Friday.

Cyndi Bracy teaches Texas History at Judson Middle School in Longview and says this is a big day for staff.

“This is just an opportunity for all of us to be together and celebrate each other. Today, we’re recognizing all of our really exemplary teachers,” she said.

During the celebration, $1.8 million in checks were awarded to 157 teachers.

“They qualify through their annual evaluation score, and they qualify through their student growth score,” said John York, a human resource officer for Longview ISD.

Thanks to all the teachers and students hard work Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox got to give staff a huge surprise.

“Based on last year’s STAAR exams the Longview Independent School District is an A district,” said Wilcox.

He says they do this all for the students.

“What we did is put together the best staff we could and allow our teachers to get out there and lead our students, and they did a great job,” said Wilcox.

And when it comes to your children Longview ISD is also making sure they are protected.

“Our main priority this year is the safety of our students,” said Wilcox.

Teachers have been doing virtual training all summer to keep students safe, but even though they worked their whole break they are ready to get back to class.

“Looking forward to all the great things that we are doing,” said Bracy.

Longview ISD staff hope to continue their success for years to come.