Four months ago, I left my school district—Mitchell—where I had served as superintendent for more than 23 years. When I did so, I knew there were going to be some things I missed. The students, first and foremost. All the people I worked with. All the sights and sounds of working in a school—the bells, the delightful squeals and chatter of a grade school playground, a freshly waxed terrazzo floor.
The best part was all those parents and local restaurants and insurance companies and PTAs who went to all that work, not because they didn’t think we had enough to eat, but because it was their way of showing just how much they really appreciate all of you.
Couple that with the knowledge that what you do is meaningful, that you make a genuine difference in the lives of children, and you wind up with a recipe for not just feeling appreciated but being genuinely worthy of appreciation.
Not half bad on a sunny day in May, the end of the academic year approaching, snow and ice safely in the past, and a nicely frosted cookie in the shape of an apple just waiting for you.
Dr. Joseph Graves
Secretary of Education