Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower smiles for a picture with Arnold Mill Elementary School third-graders Karter Fife and Kasyn Escobar on the first day of school, August 1, 2017.
Please see the following back-to-school message from Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower:
Today’s a picture day.
The first day of school is one of those special moments, like blowing out birthday candles, opening Christmas presents or holding a newborn baby sister in your arms.
It’s the kind of moment that you share with your family. And it’s the kind you capture with a snapshot for the family album and a copy for grandma, and, these days, a post on Facebook, too.
We see our School District as a family: uniting our students and parents, our teachers and staff and our partners and volunteers.
We have the incredible privilege of being a part of our students’ lives from the time they learn their ABCs to the time they’re ready to leave the nest. It’s a joy to see them succeed, and it’s heartache when they struggle… but we’re there for them and you through it all.
We’ll welcome hundreds of preschoolers and kindergarteners today to their first-ever day of school, as well as children who have moved here with their families from other communities.
They’ll discover a home for learning much like what you remember from your own school days… at least in the most important ways. For while what we call reading, writing and arithmetic may change, and the methods and the tools used to teach them don’t look the same, what’s unchanged is how deeply committed our teachers are to caring for our community’s future by educating your children.
We teach your children the importance of respecting our country and others’ rights, beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance each morning and a quiet time they can choose to use for prayer. While we believe it’s ultimately up to parents to teach their children character, we do our part through Character Education, service-learning projects, kindness initiatives, positive behavior programs and a code of conduct.
We recognize while all children are created equal, some come from challenged households, which is why we strongly support programs to even the playing field in classrooms and to wrap them in community services. It’s a point of pride to tell you that two of the most important nonprofit organizations for serving our students in need – the Service League of Cherokee County and Give A Kid A Chance – are led by our employees. We also partner with a long list of outstanding nonprofits that serve specific needs for our students and their families such as Children’s Haven, Child Advocacy Council and MUST Ministries.
Today, we’ll also welcome the Class of 2018, who just 10 months from now will walk across the stage at commencement for another important picture day.
“Educating the Emerging Generation” is our mission, and we’re focused on teaching the skills our graduates will need to be successful in a technology rich, globally competitive workplace. We’re dedicated to expanding opportunities for academic achievement through Advanced Placement, university partnerships and pilot projects to enhanced Gifted education. We encourage every student to make a Career Pathway a priority, offer an increasing number of industry certified programs and counsel students with the mindset that a college degree is not the only path to success.
We anticipate we’ll grow to more than 42,000 students this school year, and we’re focused on meeting the needs of each of those students, which is why we continue to add more teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria staff to our ranks. We also can use more help, so please consider joining us, if you have not already, as a classroom volunteer or a business partner.
We care about your children. We care about your children’s future. We care about your children’s future success.
And we hope you’ve had a wonderful picture day with many more to come. Please visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed to see some of the back-to-school pictures your neighbors have shared with us.