This is American Education Week with the theme as “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility”. It truly is a fitting theme as we are nearing the end of another active year of classes, student activities, and accomplishments. However, the concept of the basic mission of community colleges is certainly applicable to the theme as a public responsibility for improving our society, our communities, and our economic vitality. While higher education is not often consider a constitutional right, college level public education is a unique aspect of the United States which has resulted in advancements in science, arts, technology, and social improvements.

I hope you will consider the individuals who have influenced your education and give them a “shout” of thanks (ok, maybe a card, e-mail, phone call or personal visit rather than a “shout”). Their positive influence may have gone unrecognized and your success may have been highly dependent and guided by that influence.

I would also like to express my personal appreciation to the members of the SCCC/ATS faculty and staff who continue to show positive influence and guidance to our students and a positive impact on our community. Often the efforts of our faculty go unnoticed as they provide advising, counseling, tutorial, and additional academic support for our students’ success. They sponsor organizations, they communicate with a student via distance course delivery, they provide encouragement, and they certainly provide instruction and passage of knowledge and skill techniques. Our students do very well here at Seward, and also as they leave Seward – whether as a transfer student to a university or an employee in their chosen career. That success can be directly attributed the quality of instruction and the quality of the faculty providing that instruction.

Sometime during this week express appreciation to someone in higher education who has had a positive influence on your life; and also express appreciation to our faculty and staff for the positive impact they make on the lives of our students each day.