Veterans play an essential role in our education community. Some of Kentucky’s teachers, classified staff, and school and district leaders have answered the call to serve our country. Now, they serve our students.
With Veterans Day coming up on Nov. 11, and this year being the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we need to ensure our veterans know we appreciate them and the sacrifices they have made.
Back in 2003, Kentucky’s General Assembly required public schools to observe Veterans Day, legislation that I fully support. I encourage our schools to seek advice from the Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs and other veterans’ service organizations to find the best ways to honor those who have enlisted to protect our freedoms.
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, you may find yourself lost in planning a family get-together, or perhaps finding the perfect gift for a loved one. While I, too, can get overwhelmed with the holiday season, I want to make sure we come together to remember to honor all the men and women who have served our great country, especially those who continue to serve – this time in our schools.
Coming from a family of educators, I grew up seeing the connection between schools, families and communities, and how important each is in supporting the other.
Throughout my first year as commissioner of education, I have been awed watching as teachers and school staff have done whatever it takes to keep students not only learning, but safe and fed. They have donned masks, measured desk placement, given virtual hugs and stocked their classrooms with hand sanitizer. And many of these teachers and staff are veterans.
I know the holiday season can be a trigger for stress for a lot of us. I ask you to slow down, take some time for yourself, and reflect and appreciate what you have and what we have here in this great country. And remember to thank those who have sworn to protect it.
On behalf of our schools, districts and all of us here at the Kentucky Department of Education, thank you to our veterans for your service.