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HomeCommentaryOp-edGreat Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility

Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility

As we celebrate American Education Week, Nov.16-20, I welcome this opportunity to applaud, foremost, our committed teachers who make teaching their business and other school personnel for facilitating adequate classroom instructions. You are allowing all of our young people throughout the Virgin Islands to aspire and achieve.
This year’s theme, “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility,” resonates deeply with me, and speaks to the commitment I and my leadership team have to the children of the Virgin Islands. Public education works! Many of us are products of Public Schools and thus can attest to its value. The Public Education System in the Virgin Islands is one that is being reshaped, refocused and recharged. I count myself blessed to be at the helm of this great institution and challenge everyone in this community to get back to the basics and become invested—in real and tangible ways—in the education of our talented young people.
I trust each educator will use this week-long celebration to stimulate students’ interest in learning. We will put our heads and hearts together because there is a lot of work to be accomplished to get our students up to the high academic standards they are capable of reaching. They need the persistent attention, care and guidance of teachers who, in many ways, perform above and beyond their regular classroom duties to achieve this objective.
Let this year’s American Education Week observance be the impetus to help us achieve our goal. Involve students in rich, enlightening and exciting activities that will brighten their smiles and prospects of leading successful lives upon graduation from high school.
Lastly, I implore everyone in this community – parents, politicians, business leaders and all stakeholders – to come along for the journey as we are on the verge of making each public school in the Virgin Islands great for our children and our future’s sake. Our children deserve the best education possible and it is our responsibility to deliver.
I wish all Godspeed and a brightened and high-spirited American Education Week 2015.
Editor’s note: Sharon Ann McCollum, Ph.D. is the commissioner of the V.I. Department of Education.
 

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