When I taught communications at Bainbridge College, my class rosters included students from all over southwest Georgia and north Florida. At the beginning of each semester, some of those students were well prepared and ready for a college-level education, while others were not.
I am proud to say that a large majority of the brightest bulbs in my classroom each semester were from right here in Seminole County. The students from Seminole County were consistently the ones who were always on time, sitting in the front row and completing their assignments with pride. They wanted to be there to receive a college education and they were prepared for the challenges.
It has been a privilege – the past ten years as a resident of Seminole County – to get to know the administrators, teachers and staff in the Seminole County Public School system, and because I now know them, I have first hand knowledge of why those bright bulbs in my Bainbridge College classes shined so brightly. They were coming out of a school system where they had been taught, if they could dream it, they could achieve it.
The students had a sky-is-the-limit attitude and believed, that through dedicated hard work, they would succeed. The Seminole County school system had given them the necessary skills and tools needed to excel in college and they were ready for the opportunities, the challenges and the rewards that a higher education would present to them.
In the last three weeks, as our local schools here in Seminole County celebrated and honored student’s achievements and state championships in academic and athletic excellence, some things became even more evident to me. Our students are receiving the tools needed to prepare themselves for college and beyond and they are being prepared effectively for those tasks. They are being taught to dream and to pursue a path to better themselves and those dreams and aspirations are being nurtured and directed by a group of dedicated and committed Seminole County teachers and administrators. Our teachers care about their students and believe in their future. And coming from the perspective of a teacher who taught some of them, that is appreciated.
John C. Maxwell, an American author and speaker on leadership, once said “People never care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Seminole County students are entering college with an attitude of I can because I have been taught that I can. Our local teachers and administrators care about their students and because of that, our students care more about themselves and their future.
I saw that when I taught at Bainbridge College and I see it each week when I walk down the halls of the schools in this county. I hear the words of commitment when I talk with the teachers and I see the results of that caring and commitment shining brightly on the faces of the students they teach.
Our children are our future, and if what I see coming out of the Seminole County School System is any indication, we are all in for a very bright and prosperous one.
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