It is another year for serving our Somerset County students. We welcome returning teachers, well- rested I hope, and new teachers. The Board received glowing briefings on each new hire. Our Superintendent, Central Office Staff and Principals have been hard at work this summer to be prepared to support the teachers during the coming school year.
Our support staff consisting of paraprofessionals, maintenance staff, administrative associates, financial personnel, custodians, food service workers, nurses, councilors, bus contractors, bus aides, coaches and additional staff are poised and prepared to make your teaching days a success for our children.
These are exciting times with the appointment and transfer of Principals and Assistant Principals. Schools realignment will better serve our students. There are exterior or interior facility improvements at our schools, an addition for our partners of the Crisfield Head Start Program at Crisfield Academy and High School and improvements to athletic facilities at Crisfield and Washington Academy and High School. On October 24, school system officials and invited dignitaries and guests will conduct a “Ground Breaking” Ceremony for a new “State-of-the-Art” Career and Technology Center.
Concerned segments of our government and society continue to demand and offer solutions to improve our public education system. Up State” the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education have been working hard to finalize the Maryland “Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)” Plans must be submitted by September 18 to the US Department of Education. MSDE continues to work with local Boards of Education, Superintendents, Administrators and subject matter experts to formulate an acceptable ESSA plan, while simultaneously ensuring they adhere to legislative requirements in the Protect Our Schools Act passed during the 2017 Legislative session. The state Kirwan Commission is studying adequacy of public education funding. The Knott Commission is examining school construction and funding. Governor Hogan has requested that funding request meetings for school construction should include representation from PASSAM (Superintendents Association), MABE (local Bd. of Ed. Association and MACo (local county commissioners and executives association) to discuss requests for school construction.
These are important endeavors. However, the teacher focuses on the daily and long-term success of each child. The teacher is what we call in military parlance “the point of the spear”, the infantryman or the warrior. The daily application of instruction is “where the rubber meets the road.” Teachers are “serving in the trenches.” Supported by building administrators, teachers are the face of our system for students. You are through whom our children are motivated, protected, encouraged and grow. You are the face each child remembers when asked about school. As educators, you determine success for our children, and for our school system. We have the best teachers in Maryland, and your Board of Education will support you because we have the utmost confidence in your abilities and passion. God bless each of you for accepting the challenge to become a teacher. Thank you, and have a good learning year.