Resilience and Strength
Are Core Components of Public Education
The month of June signifies both an
ending and a beginning – an end 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
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
Serving together in