Even though it is only August, the days are getting noticeably shorter and the leaves are already turning colors. That must mean that fall is sneaking up on us.

This time of year, I start thinking about the chilly evenings and football games that many people in our area enjoy. Thinking back to my days as a student, I also associate this time of year with the start of school. With many schools in our area already gearing up to start again, I want to recognize all of the hard work that goes into making the school year a success.

First and foremost, you have to give the students credit. Whether starting their first day of kindergarten or going into their senior year, they return day after day to further build on the knowledge that they have already attained. Although this might be against their will at times, they are preparing themselves to be active and engaged members of society who will contribute heavily to the economy and our state’s future.

The teachers at our area schools cannot be thanked enough. Not only do they become masters of their subject matter, but they also sacrifice a lot for their students. So many of them go the extra mile in order for their students to gain an appreciation for what they are being taught. With such big hearts, I know that our students are in the right hands and will be prepared to take the next step after graduation.

In order for a school to operate, it takes the dedication of many other various individuals, including school bus drivers, custodians, coaches, and others. We also cannot forget the school administration that is helping oversee the process and ensure that the school is functioning as best it can. Not only are all of these positions essential to the operation and logistics of the school day, but they are also there to build a nurturing environment for our young people.

The academic success of students from kindergarten through senior year adds to the long-term sustainability of our state. It is important that we continue to invest our time, money, and resources into them so that we are certain they have the confidence and abilities needed to succeed in the future. Surely, this is an investment that will pay off.

The community that a child encounters at school should not only be a welcoming and safe environment for the student, but it should be a partner with their parents and families. I truly feel that the education of a young person starts at home and continues to develop in coordination with educational institutions. Not only are the students and staffs at schools working hard, but the students’ parents are putting in a lot of time and effort also.

As we start the 2012-2013 school year, I encourage everyone to thank the people who work at their child’s particular school. I also wish all of the students in Ashtabula County and northern Trumbull County success and look forward to meeting many of you as I visit your classrooms.


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