Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A thanks on the last day of school

Today is our daughter’s last day of third grade at Johnsville Elementary in Blaine. Rebecca Darda has done an outstanding job of being her teacher.

One of my wife Amy’s and my concern about moving from Rochester to Blaine was how Hannah would adjust to her neighborhood and to her new school. A year ago May the two of us toured Johnsville school. Amy grilled the principal about the school and how they teach their students.

We quickly discovered that quite a lot of pride exists about Johnsville Elementary. Last year the school received a national award. This year many families are upset because the district boundaries are changing and these families won’t be able to attend Johnsville next year. In the past year our family has yet to find anyone say anything negative about the school. That is high praise!

This is a tough time to be in public education. Budgets are flat; classroom sizes are large—Hannah was in a class of 31 kids; test scores seem to overshadow everything; everyone has an opinion about education—often a negative opinion; politicians can’t seem to help but criticize the state of education, the quality of administration, or the teacher’s union.

I think the last day of school should be a day to make a tribute to everyone involved in education. Just as our country gave a tribute on Memorial Day to our veterans who died, I think our country owes a tribute to everyone who has dedicated their lives to educating children and youth. I don’t think it would be out of line for our communities to gather at our local school with a honor guard and give a rousing ovation for everyone involved in education.

Thank you, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, coaches, para-professionals, administrators, librarians, crossing guards, and everyone else involved in education. Your commitment deserves our thanks. Thank you!

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