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myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
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Here's to a great year

Published on -8/5/2012, 6:44 AM

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We're back to school. It's almost time for school to start up again. You can see it and feel it.

The stores have dedicated sections filled with pencils and notebook paper, crayons and glue sticks. The new kindergartners dance with excitement while Mom and Dad pour over the supply list. Those two boys down the street are tossing a football in anticipation of middle-school tryouts. Your daughter is already begging you to buy the test prep guide for her AP U.S. history class.

And here comes the first yellow bus down the street, a new driver familiarizing herself with the route.

We are back again at this energizing time of new beginnings and renewed opportunities.

What you might not have noticed is that the educators in your local school district are back as well -- getting the buildings ready, learning to use new technologies, collaborating with their colleagues on new units and looking over class rosters trying to picture their students for the upcoming year.

No matter what your personal connection to our Kansas public schools, we all can appreciate the excitement.

We Kansans have made a quality public education for every child a matter of great pride. Every one of our Kansas students can follow their dreams and pursue their goals with the encouragement and support of the educators in the buildings, their families at home, and their neighbors in the community. That opportunity is one of the mainstays of our democratic society and of our Kansas heritage.

The pursuit of our dreams is fundamental to our collective psyche. But the benefits of a strong public education go far beyond that. We know public education is how a community provides its young people with the complex work skills necessary in the 21st century. We know as businesses look for new locations, they look for communities that provide a qualified, educated workforce. We know as the level of education rises in a community, the level of income rises, as does the quality of life. A quality public school system is in the best interest of all Kansans.

It's exciting to know educators across the state are working to make our schools even better. They are finding new ways to help students develop all the skills they need in our modern world, from critical thinking to collaboration to responsible citizenship. They are connecting with parents and families and communities so as a team we can help all children reach their potential. Maintaining and improving our exemplary public schools is one of the most important jobs we have as a community.

So as we watch our children and schools prepare for a new year and start to pay attention to the school crossings again, let's all commit to making this a great school year; one of infinite potential and dreams fulfilled.

Karen Godfrey KNEA president

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