Dear Colleagues and Friends—
As we return from the Winter Break to the promises and opportunities of a New Year, 2013, we do so acutely aware of the tragic disaster in Newtown, Connecticut with which 2012 ended. I thought this “pictorial editorial” from the Fort Lauderdale, Florida SunSentinel was a poignant reminder that we, as a community, should always take time to thank those who protect our children at school– a teacher, custodian, paraeducator, nurse, school resource officer, bus driver, psychologist, school secretary, food service worker, campus supervisor, tech support staff, groundskeeper, board member, principal, classroom/parent volunteer, etc.—in other words, all of those who daily commit not only to keep the schools operating to provide our children a 21st Century education, but also to provide a safe, nurturing environment in which they can learn. Let us all resolve to do everything possible to make Santa Cruz County a safe, healthy and caring place for every resident and to continue providing the best possible education for our students.
Several people have asked about providing support to the Sandy Hook Elementary School community. Here are two contact points: donations, through a United Way site. Cards and condolences: Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12 Dickinson Drive, Sandy Hook, CT 06482.
Happy New Year to you and your families.
Michael C. Watkins
County Superintendent of Schools
Santa Cruz County Office of Education