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Teachers receive motivation from speaker

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Teachers listen as Abbananto speaks about their influence on students. Teachers listen as Abbananto speaks about their influence on students.
All teachers must attend personal development training sessions annually. All teachers must attend personal development training sessions annually.
Abbananto says it was a high school football coach who encouraged him to "dream big." Abbananto says it was a high school football coach who encouraged him to "dream big."

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Some say a successful future for Oklahoma lies in the hands of the children, which is why a local coaching company focused their efforts on teachers.

Sean Abbananto has been described as "energetic, dynamic, full of life" by those who have listened to him speak.

"I have a purpose to be here," said Del City teacher Katherine Lopez. "We know that, but sometimes we just need somebody else to tell us."

Abbananto spoke to a group of teachers of Oklahoma, who are required to attend personal development training sessions annually.

Abbananto pledged to save Oklahoma schools $1 million in continuing education and assembly costs by holding the lectures. He said he believes success starts in the classroom and was motivated in high school when his football coach encouraged him to "dream big."

"On graduation night, both of us looked at each other with tears in our eyes," Abbananto said. "This large, buff black man, he looked at me and said, ‘You did it.' He got me through my high school years."

Abbananto is now passing the message along by teaching educators to dream big, live big and reveal thier passions.

"So many people don't think they have passion inside them," Abbananto said. "I always ask the question, ‘How many of you feel you have passion inside of you?' Normally, only about 50 percent to 70 percent raise their hands, and I tell them...we have to learn how to become passionate."

After one training session, the teachers said they aren't the same as they were when they sat down.

"I want to touch every person that I come in contact with," said Del City teacher Gil Stockinger. "I want them to lead better, not only academically, but also socially, and you know, prepare them for life."

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