06/10/09 — One last look: School year offers reason to be proud and optimistic

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One last look: School year offers reason to be proud and optimistic

Today is the last day of school for thousands of Wayne County children.

And later this week, thousands more seniors will say goodbye to their high school years and head on to college.

It is a time for celebration -- and for some nostalgia, too. There will be many parents, teachers and others who will pause this week to think just how fast the years roll by when a child enters your life.

And there will be a lot of pride, too. Much has been accomplished by many of this county's young people this year.

And even though it has been a contentious year with lots of battles back and forth between county and school leaders over funding concerns, today and this week are milestones -- a chance to look back at just how much learning went on in Wayne County schools this year.

There is plenty of reason to be proud. Even under some of the most uncertain budget conditions ever, Wayne County teachers, staff and administrators have managed to create a positive learning environment for the students under their care -- and to see many of them to the next grade level or to the graduation podium.

That is not an easy task.

This is one of those years when no one really knows what the next school year will bring -- especially as the budget battle in Raleigh continues.

But one thing is certain -- the strength of this county's schools is not found in their bank accounts, but in the teachers, students, administrators, staff, volunteers and parents who care about them.

Cutbacks have already put some critical education programs in limbo, so this summer it will be up to parents and volunteers to help students who need a little extra work before they return to the classroom.

And the best part is, students who need help will be able to find it -- there are that many educators and volunteers who care.

Keeping students in practice over the summer is a great way to support your community schools -- and to ensure the success of a child you love.

So, for now, the doors are closed. But come next fall, there will be plenty more reason to be certain Wayne County can keep improving the education it provides its students -- by working together.

Published in Editorials on June 10, 2009 1:12 PM