Fri, Feb. 21

A strong america begins with strong schools

The week of Nov. 13 is a perfect opportunity to celebrate education in our community as it is American Education Week 2005.

This year's theme is "A Strong America Starts with Great Public Schools." It is our chance to give thanks to our teachers, school staff, parents, students and community members who all contribute to the many successes in our schools.

We honor all people from secretaries to bus drivers who make a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. The theme reflects a vision for public schools that help students grow, prosper and achieve, and in turn, strengthen our community.

A second thing that our community schools can be thankful for is the Arizona School Tax Credit. It is a win-win situation because it is a law that benefits taxpayers and school children alike. The law allows a tax credit of $200 for individuals and $300 for married couples who file jointly. The donations support extra curricular activities and character education programs.

Last year, you as taxpayers, helped cover the costs of field trips, after-school programs, admission to museums and nature camps, as well as music, art and physical education programs. Tax credit donations make possible a wide range of learning opportunities that our children would not otherwise have. And you do not have to have a child in the school district to benefit from the tax credit program. We are truly grateful for your generosity.

And of course, at this time of the year students in our district and citizens around our nation take time to honor our Veterans who once served and are serving the United States during this time of war. Their efforts and dedication have secured our freedom with little thought to their own safety. For this we are all very thankful.

In the rush of everything we do, we cannot forget to say a special thank you to all our volunteers for your gift of time and dedication to our students.

Helping children grow into happy, productive adults is one of the most fulfilling challenges that life offers. We thank you for the role you play in building young people's skills, confidence, and strength of character. Your efforts help put children on the path to achieving their dreams.

It takes a team of committed people to make a school successful. Our volunteers have a lasting influence on our students' lives and the future of our community. Your continuing dedication to putting children first will not be forgotten. We need each other to make it work and we are all partners in education.

Sandy Huson is the principal at Tavasci Elementary School.

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