07 December 2011
Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Jamie Vollmer speak to a large group of school board members, superintendents, and various other folks involved in the public education arena. Mr. Vollmer is a businessman who has evolved into an award-winning advocate for public education. He may be “best known” for his story about blueberries and the transformation that took place immediately after his speaking engagement in front of approximately 300 educators. (You can find the blueberry story on his website at www.jamievollmer.com). Mr. Vollmer is also the author of a best seller titled “Schools Cannot Do It Alone.” I believe he has taken what we know to be true and crafted a well-written, clear, and consolidated message that would be beneficial for all to read.
Our schools, more specifically our children, need community support. We know that an educated populace lends itself to an active citizenship, good stewards of our resources, functional members of society, and provides footing for personal success in a college and/or career path. We know that children who leave our school system with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed are more likely to give back to the community that supported them. The long-term, positive implications of a quality educational system have been researched and well documented.
So,what does that mean for Fluvanna? It means this:
- We must insist that our educators have the vision, energy, and commitment to create a system that prepares our children for the 21st century and trust them to do so;
- We must have quality teachers in front of our children every day;
- We must create a culture of “solution-finders” who focus on children and their needs;
- We must have a community that invests time and money in public education;
- We must have a community that understands the magnitude of what a quality education means for their lifestyle, whether they have children in the system or not; and
- It means that we must talk with each other about our vision for our school system.
As we plan for the future of Fluvanna County Public Schools through our work with the Domino Plan, budgeting preparation for fiscal year 2013, and the strategic planning process, I invite you to join in those conversations. I invite you to attend a board meeting, visit our schools, attend a musical production, go to a ball game, and possibly roll up your sleeves and volunteer. We need our community to understand what we do and who our children are because they belong to all of us.