Dear Dunbarton and Bow,
I know this is a very busy time in schools and for students as we wrap up the year. I have had writing a community update on my to-do list for a few weeks and I have not been able to get to it, so some of this news may be a little stale. We have been very busy doing a lot of hiring for next year, and that is time consuming.
First I wanted to express my appreciation for our staff. At the end of this letter I have appended a message I sent to our staff during teacher appreciation week about how much I appreciate their efforts in doing the noble work of public education. The front line aides and teachers are the ones that make a difference to our individual students and to our nation as a whole.
I would also like to recognize some recent awards. BHS was named the NH high school of the year and was ranked third by the US News and World Reports in NH. Dan Ferreira was recognized by the NH Superintendents Association as a Champion for Children for his work in supporting our students with special needs. Bow Rotary recognized the newly minted Dr. John House-Myers for International Service for his work in supporting international students. The retiring Dr. Winnings was recognized by Rotary with a Vocational Award for her 15 years of dedication to Bow Elementary School students and for her being a leader and teacher of teachers.
Graduation day for BHS is June 13th and the last day for other students and all staff is Thursday June 18th which will be an early release day.
Finally, I had this request come during April Vacation and I am passing the information along. It is still relevant
Helping Charlotte Buxton
Cards and get-well wishes can be dropped off at the Library, and they will be delivered to Charlotte. For questions or more information, please contact Lori Fisher at 224-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your generosity to help one of our fellow citizens who gave over 20 years of service to Bow residents!
Please contact me at email@example.com if you want to discuss anything.
Onward Bow and Dunbarton,
Staff Appreciation Message
I recently went to a conference that reminded me of why I do what I do.
American Public Education has come under fire for being under performing and the politicians' answer to the alleged issues is to bring in market concepts or to use standardized testing to name and shame schools or individuals.
David Berliner is a well known educational researcher and his contention is that the public school is the reason for American prominence in the late 20th century. The great myth is that american schools do poorly and this is used to promote money issues like choice and charters. His contention is that when adjusted for poverty, american public schools do as well or better than any other system. The real issue in America is poverty and that is why our cities are erupting and our average scores are poor in comparison. Students who have basic needs unmet and instability have difficulty learning. The US chooses to educate everyone and to do so with extra support and dignity for those who need it most.
From Brown verses Board of Education in 1954 to the first ESEA in 1965 that established the Title Grants to the 1975 enactment of IDEA the focus in US education has been to provide a tax supported, publicly controlled, non-sectarian education on an equal basis to all students in our country. That investment in people has paid off with an economy that drives economic growth, an arts community that brims with creativity, sports teams that are the envy of the world and a society that celebrates the diversity of human kind.
All this is accomplished by the teachers, aides and support staff that work day in a day out to provide this great service to our most precious asset, our kids. We have three catch phrases in SAU 67: Care for each person every day, Focus on learning and Teach to touch the future. We are not perfect in these and they are more aspirational messages than statements of fact, but we do a pretty good job of working toward these.
It has been a hard year for many of us, and we continue to work in a difficult political context. I am tired and there is more work to do. However, I feel that it is noble work.
I want to thank each and every one of you who have also dedicated your skills and energies to this great work we call public education. Thank you for putting in extra time and for caring deeply about students and for dedicating your life to the next generation.