Mike Pickering, POWER Zone curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development administrator, hosts the zone's mid-year convocation Jan. 7 at Vista Ridge High School in Falcon School District 49. Pickering provided an update on the zone's purpose and direction, as well as issues related to education reform. The gathering, including a coin ceremony that recognized outstanding faculty, occurred the day before students were scheduled to start the second semester. After the ceremony, teachers worked on their individual curriculum and semester goals. The Board of Education approved this mid-year event last April, as part of a POWER Zone innovation plan that modified the calendar for the zone's five schools. According to the plan, the effort is meant to increase quality in-class instruction, promote respectful staff relationships and ensure timely conference days.