This collective action demonstrates local voters and the general public recognize that education is one of Arizona’s biggest priorities.
In addition to the bond passage and support for public education, one of the things I’ve been most pleased to see is an evolving recognition for how complex teaching is and the vital role educators play in our children’s lives. I know teachers and education professionals will make a difference for my three sons – Lucas (9 months), Oliver (3) and Aiden (4).
I wholeheartedly know that teachers are responsible for ensuring young people succeed academically while also managing external forces that require attention. These include public policy changes, school and district procedures, families’ socioeconomic realities, and the parent-teacher relationship for their students, be it 20 students or hundreds of them. And it’s time we do more than simply tell teachers we appreciate all they do. We must celebrate teachers for the positive impact they have on our children’s lives.
I am proud that education has been a top priority for United Way for decades, and our work with the Summit represents our commitment to and celebration of the people who are at the heart of ensuring each child is prepared to succeed along every major milestone in their educational career. From young people reading at grade level by the end of third grade, making the transition from middle school to high school, graduating from high school, to completing a degree or certification program. All of these milestones help ensure our young people are equipped to contribute their talents and assets to the long-term success of our community.
The Summit provides an opportunity for teachers to reenergize and to connect with others who share the same kind of commitment and passion for educating our youth. Equally important, they will be celebrated for the hard work they do every day for their students.
We all remember that one teacher who really influenced our life, and the Summit provides us a moment to recognize the lasting impression these influential people had on our lives and to pay-it-forward to those who are working with the young people who will shape the future of our state.
I encourage you to watch the live stream of the Phoenix Summit at extrayardsummit.com and to join us at the free concert at the AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! near the Phoenix Convention Center.