November 19, 2014

Giving heartfelt thanks to our community

As we celebrate the season of thanksgiving, we give heartfelt thanks on behalf of our public schools to all the business and community members who supported our local classrooms, families, and children in so many ways.

Even in challenging times it’s clear that we can join hands in partnership and help bolster one of our community’s most valuable assets.

Members of the community help in ways that are impossible to overstate. Parents volunteer in local classrooms. PTA members play invaluable roles at every school. Relatives and friends support fundraisers, and neighbors pitch in at every turn, attending sports events, concerts, and plays. That support means so much to the young people who witness it every day, and see first-hand that the adults around them value what is happening in their classrooms.

I’d also like to thank the local business community whose strong support of our schools is evident in ways both large and small.

Businesses have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to support The Teachers Network, a program that recognizes outstanding teachers and spreads successful classroom ideas. That program helps make a difference one classroom at a time, and has demonstrated its worth to local students countywide.

Businesses have also contributed to the invaluable Computers for Families program in the South County and Computer Connections program in the North County. These programs provide low-income students with computers, and help erase the digital divide that separates those with access to technology from those without.

Members of local businesses also help serve as mentors, making themselves available for shadow programs. They pitch in with vocational and career programs at local schools, helping prepare young people for the world of work. Many take part in Career Day programs, and in Principal for a Day, which helps them see first-hand the challenges and accomplishments of our schools, and adding their own expertise as support.

Students in today’s classrooms will be tomorrow’s workforce and leaders. The level of support and the range of resources are both extremely impressive and greatly appreciated.

Of course a tremendous thanks also goes to all the unsung heroes and heroines in classrooms countywide, who make a difference every day in the lives of the children and families they serve. Teachers embody our society’s belief that universal public education is key to meeting the challenges of a changing world. They strive to make every classroom an exciting environment where productive and useful learning can take place, and each student is encouraged to grow and develop according to his or her talents and abilities.

Our teachers reach out to foster the well-being of every student, regardless of ability, motivation, background, race, or beliefs. Teachers also help inspire students to find new directions in life and reach for high levels of achievement. We are thankful for all they do, and for the support from parents, business leaders, and members of the community that is so vital to their ability to succeed.

On behalf of the entire educational system in our county, I offer thanks to members of our community for their support of our classrooms and schools. This is a fitting time to say “thank you” to all whose help is so very valuable.