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Bittersweet Symphony

This is the last week of school for Putnam City, which makes me smile and cry each year. Mostly cry, though some of the tears are happy ones. This is because so many good people are retiring from our district yet again. This crop of people includes good friends with whom I taught, one of my own former teachers, and a parent of a former student who has been in education as long as I’ve been alive! At Monday’s school board meeting, Dr. Mouse said that those retiring have a combined 1,115 years in education, 835 of which were in Putnam City. I cried mostly because I am sad to see them all go, even though I am happy for a new chapter I their lives.

I also had a few tears at the Putnam City West Scholarship Assembly. Those kids have earned over $1 million in scholarships, one of which was the Michael Cutter Scholarship. Mr. Cutter holds unbroken state football records, and his classmates from PCW 1982 started a scholarship in his honor last year that our Foundation holds. Mr. Cutter was there to present this year’s award, and it was so good to meet him and see the support from that amazing group of Patriots.

That assembly also included a scholarship presentation by the family of a current PCW student! Baruc Lara convinced his family to start this program, and made a few eloquent statements about his family for whom it is named. I’m excited to see what life brings him and all the graduates from 2018.

Finally, I did have some happy tears at last night’s English Language Literacy end-of-year celebration. The ELL program is something of which I am very proud, because it shows the dedication of our parents to their children. I made a few remarks to those assembled, and got to give them all a pocket US Constitution. This program exemplifies the best in our families, and seeing them last night was a humbling experience.

I know that we will all move on and be OK without these students and these teachers, but they will not be forgotten. We will continue to work hard to build on the legacy these people have left in our district.

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