“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
– Henry Brooks Adams
Sometimes the stars go blue.
Last night the stars were the teachers, principals and superintendents honored by the Blue Ribbon Schools Program in Maryland. I was lucky enough to be on hand in Annapolis to see education represented by its finest. After all, it’s the teachers and administrators who bring many of us closer to fine.
Six schools from six different Maryland counties were honored for super achievement in reading and mathematics assessment scores, and economically disadvantaged schools who achieve in the top 40% or higher and dramatically close gaps. As Darla Strouse, Executive Director of the Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools Program noted, if Maryland is the best state in the nation for education, then these schools must be some of the best in the universe.
Smiles and pride were on full display from Frost Elementary school in Allegany County, Linthicum Elementary School in Anne Arundel County, Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Baltimore County, Northern Garrett High School in Garrett County, Cashell Elementary School in Montgomery County, and Robert Goddard French Immersion School in Prince George’s County. The schools not only carry the Blue Ribbon banner for the year, but their principals are also honored by the Maryland General Assembly with tributes on the floor of the House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate.
And it’s all about the teachers and the hard work and dedication they put in to take education to a higher level. Sean Looney, VP for State Government Affairs at Comcast, one of the sponsors for the Blue Ribbon reception, explained it best. Sean asked the crowd to think back to 1978, could they remember the winners of the biggest sporting events, or the biggest news events from that year? You might have to think about it for a moment, or maybe even look it up. But as Sean pointed out, he doesn’t need to do any research, or dig deep in his memory bank to know the biggest event for him in 1978. It was a teacher, specifically his Latin High school teacher, who had a huge impact on his life and helped him achieve great things on his SAT scores. He made a significant difference in Sean’s life, a difference he will never ever forget.
Teachers have an impact, teachers are remembered. For the countless and sometimes seemingly thankless hours they put in helping teach us to be the best we can be, they hold a special place in our hearts and in our memory. Everyone has a favorite. There are few people in life you might remember so well and who make a lasting impact on your very existence. As Sean said an event like last night’s to honor the best of the best, restores his “faith in all that’s good about the world.”
A great teacher can make the world a better place. The Blue Ribbon winners do it better than anyone.
Yes sometimes, the stars go blue.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
#1 Amazon Best-Seller
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