Last Friday, August 24th, in the Mount Si High School auditorium was the All Staff Kickoff event. The event is designed to welcome Snoqualmie Valley School District staff and teachers to a new school year. At this year’s All Staff Kickoff Day, SVSD School Board President gave an inspirational speech to valley teachers. With Dan’s permission, Living Snoqualmie would like to share that speech (not verbatim) with you.
Thank You to Dan. Most importantly, thank you to our teachers, who show up everyday instilling in Snoqualmie Valley children the importance of education and its role it plays in their futures. Read on…
I am excited to be here today to ring in the beginning of a new academic year. To our veteran teachers I say welcome back! And to the new teachers who are joining our district for the first time, I offer that you are joining one of the best school districts in Washington State.
Last school year, our school district, our schools, our administration, staff and our students won many awards and recognitions – at both the state and the national level. These accomplishments are too many to list, but I can say that the accomplishments are notable. I am so very proud to be volunteering in a school district, whose collective personnel, strive for greatness; people who are so passionate about the success of our students.
This coming year, you have both the opportunity and the responsibility to drive quality education in our classrooms. In my work in the Microsoft Learning division, I see more and more evidence that from the foundation of elementary school experience to the graduating high school seniors, you are a critical element to the future success and even the livelihood of our students.
I was recently reminded of how important you are when another of our board members, Carolyn Simpson, forwarded a compelling article to me. The study, conducted by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University focused on the impact of a College Degree in our current national unemployment dilemma.
Over the last nearly five years of financial turmoil, Americans across a broad spectrum have suffered blows to wages, benefits and savings. But when it comes to employment, the crux of financial survival, the study revealed a tale of sharply different economies, defined by what? You guessed it – Education.
Even during the recession, as millions of jobs vanished, the number of people with Bachelor’s degrees who had jobs did NOT decline. And even as employment rose during the recovery, people who did not go to college continued to lose ground shedding 200,000 jobs from early 2012 to early 2012.
The study, based on data collected by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, divided the nation’s work force of 140 million people into three groups: those who did not go to college, those with some college education or an associate degree, and those with at least a bachelor’s degree.
From late 2007, when the recession began, to early 2012, the number of people with jobs in the least-educated group fell by more than 5.8 million, or 10 percent. In the middle group, recession losses were not as steep and were almost completely reversed by early this year. And in the best-educated group, in which there was no net loss during the recession, the number of people with jobs climbed by 2.2 million, or 5 percent.
The bottom line: Americans with no more than a high school education have continued to lose jobs during the sputtering recovery, while better-educated people have gained millions of jobs.
I share this story, for one reason – to remind us all that the foundational education we provide here is what sets up our students for their future. Clearly not every student we meet here will be college-bound, but I submit that it should be our collective effort to provide the guidance and the motivation for them to strongly consider it.
From the day they step into our classrooms, I believe we owe it to our students to encourage a post-secondary education. In our new economy, it literally could make a difference in whether they find a job or not. As Anthony Carnevale, co-author of the Georgetown study said, “The economy we have in our minds is the one we had in 2006, and it’s gone.”
I have a deep appreciation for the dedication and hard work required to be a successful teacher. I applaud your efforts. My board colleagues and I are big fans. As we head into our new school year, I want to thank you, to encourage you and to remind you how important you are to our students and to our community.
Have a great year!
To read the entire article about the Georgetown study which Dan references click HERE.