Thanksgiving week is a time for us to pause and give thanks for the past year. I encourage all of my readers to take time and either verbally or in writing share the things you are thankful for.
I have a lot to be thankful for. First, and always first, is my family. I am a proud husband and father. I have an incredible wife who has been with me through every major life change and in many ways has been responsible for my biggest achievements. I have thought many times that I would not be where I am today, both literally and figuratively, if she had not been there to encourage me and challenge me to think bigger.
I am thankful for two children that love their family and friends, care about others and want to pursue bright futures. I am additionally thankful for the friends who have embraced my daughter in the past year. Moving as a junior in high school is tough, but she found great friends that treat her as if she grew up with them.
I am thankful for the people of Kentucky. Time and again, the people here show a great love for the state, each other and a commitment for improving the lives of our children. I have never felt more at home than here. In fact, Kentucky has been so good to my family, we are hopeful my daughter will actually attend college in the state. Trust me, this is a big deal as she had no desire to be in-state in any of our previous states.
Finally, I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given to be the Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I am thankful for our Kentucky Board of Education, whose members work tirelessly on our student’s behalf. I am thankful for our students, our teachers, our administrators and all of our shareholders in education. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with and for our Kentucky School for the Blind (that just published a wonderful book I will write about next week) and our Kentucky School for the Deaf. And, I am thankful to work with an incredibly talented staff at the Kentucky Department of Education, that is dedicated to supporting our districts in educating all the children of our state.
As a Commonwealth, we are not satisfied with where we are, but we also acknowledge the work so far. No matter who I come across, there is a real commitment to improving education – not just for the sake of improving it, but in an effort to make it better for our students. We all may not agree all of the time, but we all seem to realize that our focus must be on Our Students, Our Commonwealth.