Resilience and Strength Are Core Components of Public Education
The month of June signifies both an ending and a beginning – an ending to the school year, yet a new beginning for the class of 2021 graduates.
Graduation was always a special time for me as both a principal and a superintendent, and I remember it fondly. It will always be a highlight of my more than 50-year career in public education!
Nothing compares to seeing the look of hope, contentment and well-earned pride on the faces of the students as they are recognized for achieving a monumental milestone in their lives – graduating from high school. A culmination of 13 years of schooling from kindergartner to high school senior. And this year’s class of graduates deserve special recognition for the additional hurdles and challenges they had to endure and overcome.
Resilience and strength are two words that I have heard in several commencement addresses across the state, and I certainly concur.
In fact, all public school students have had to overcome barriers related to the delivery of educational services as school districts had to identify and develop new, innovative and safe means of delivering educational services to students in a COVID environment.
Words cannot express how proud I am of Florida’s 67 district school superintendents and all school district personnel for rising to the challenge and ensuring that Florida’s public education students received a quality education during this crisis. It has been gratifying to see the camaraderie and sharing of information and resources between superintendents and across school districts. The professionalism and fellowship have been nothing short of spectacular!
We know public schools are the cornerstone of every community and the COVID crisis certainly shone a light upon the critical roles that public schools play in the lives of our students, their families and our communities as a whole. In addition to educating students, school districts across our state have provided food and other basic necessities to those students (and their families) who are dependent upon it. I thank and applaud each and every one of you for going above and beyond and providing the essential services our communities rely upon!
Moving forward, as leaders in public education, we will collectively assess and mitigate the impact on learning and student well-being caused by the disruption to Florida’s educational process due to the pandemic, and show the same resilience and strength exhibited by the 2021 graduates!
Serving together in education,