Facing Our Challenges and Our Abundant Opportunities

The “back to school” exhilaration you are all feeling is very familiar to me. The arrival of students in our classrooms is a reminder of the many bright possibilities each student has for success.

As your Commissioner of Education, our charge as educators to help them realize those possibilities is no less significant to me on this day than it was when I served as a teacher, school principal or administrator. Education is the only profession I know in which you can begin anew each year. What an amazing opportunity!

During the past few weeks as commissioner, I have been inspired by the clear message I have received from everyone I’ve spoken with – parents and teachers, Governor Scott and other state officials, superintendents and business leaders: make Florida’s education system the best it can be so all students succeed in college, careers and in life.

The most important part of a child’s education is the support from his or her family. All educators need the support and communication from a child’s parents or guardians to make sure they are working together to help each child succeed. Please help your child by sharing your concerns and support for your child’s teacher and schools and please consider volunteering to help other children. It is not easy work, but a few hours of your time with students can make a lifetime of difference.

As leaders in a state at the forefront of education, we enter this school year together, facing our challenges and our abundant opportunities with equal confidence, creativity and hard work.

I am grateful for each of you and the care and talent you contribute to the education of our students, and for making Florida the best place in the nation to learn, work and live.

Best wishes for a successful year.

Pam Stewart, Commissioner

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