Category : CCSD
Today, we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day, and this week, we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week.
While it’s important to officially mark this day and this week, we should not need a reminder to thank our community’s teachers.
We should keep them in our hearts all the time. We should not begrudge them the right to earn a living through their profession. We should remember the vital role they play in shaping our future.
As the saying goes, “Teaching is the profession that creates all others.” No matter what your vocation, someone taught you along the way the skills to succeed – whether it was reading, writing and arithmetic or physics, welding or accounting.
I’d like to share two images with you today.
One is of a Woodstock High School teacher named Kelly Burke.
She’s a dynamic teacher who burns as brilliantly as her hand when she sets it ablaze the first day of class (look away, Office of Risk Management) to fire up her students for science. She excites students about Advanced Placement Physics, and with her guidance, they get it, they pass one of the toughest classes offered, and they earn college credit.
They get something more though. They get a mentor, who will cheer them on from the sidelines, answer their emails as they encounter challenges in college, and encourage them for the rest of their lives.
One of my greatest honors as your Superintendent of Schools is the privilege to recognize excellence among our students and employees. Ms. Burke, who is retiring at the end of this month, has been applauded many times by her students, her colleagues, her community and her peers statewide. She’s a past CCSD Teacher of the Year and Top 10 finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year. She’s the current STAR Teacher of the Year, selected by our county’s student with the highest SAT score, and she’s regularly selected by valedictorians and salutatorians as their most influential teacher.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of joining that chorus by surprising Ms. Burke before her colleagues with my Game Changer Award for Instructional Excellence. It’s awarded only to one teacher a year for extraordinary classroom teaching – and it’s one of a kind, just like her.
When she gave her remarks, she showered the praise on her colleagues, thanking them for their support. She made the observation that no one else ever has taught in her classroom, which has been her own since the school opened in 1996. No one will ever be able to fill the classroom as she has either.
This is just one story of the thousands of teachers who make our School District exceptional, and she is one of several hundred who will retire this month after a career of service.
There’s one more image I want to share with you. It’s of a group of smiling Woodstock High School seniors that appeared in my Twitter feed this morning. The school hosted a “Future Educators Signing Day” for them, much like those held nationwide for student athletes. As today went on, I saw photos from our other high schools holding the same special ceremonies for their future teachers. What a wonderful way to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day and show how we should recognize children who choose this path.
Please join me in thanking a teacher who is making a difference in your child’s life or who made a difference in your own.
I appreciate every one of our teachers each day, those who are in their last days of a legacy of teaching, and those who are just beginning this wonderful journey… one I’m so thankful a teacher prepared me for many years ago.