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Staff Appreciation Week

May 4 through May 8 is nationally recognized as Teacher Appreciation Week. In Charlotte County, we recognize this week as “Staff Appreciation Week” because, in Charlotte County, we celebrate the importance of all employees during this time.  Traditionally, this week consists of many individual school events including breakfast and lunch gatherings as well as countless little gifts and other offerings of appreciation and gratitude.  In this world of CDC guidelines and social distancing of which we currently live, Staff Appreciation Week will obviously be a little different.  I also believe this Staff Appreciation Week should be different for another reason.  I believe this Staff Appreciation Week should include many, many more people that, traditionally, are not recognized during this week.  This year, Staff Appreciation Week should include the countless people in the community that have stepped up to assist our students and teachers get through one of the most challenging times they have faced.  Make no mistake; my first thank you goes to my staff.  It is completely my honor to be a part of this incredible school district with incredible teachers and school-based staff, including the outstanding professionals that are the teams of the Division of Learning,  LTT/ICS, District Support Services, Finance, School Support Services, Human Resources, Public Relations, School Leadership, District Leadership, and last but not least, School Board Members.  I need to first, and foremost thank them for all they do and more specifically, how they rose to the occasion to ensure this crisis would not beat Charlotte County Schools.  However, this year’s Staff Appreciation Week should include the recognition of many more individuals.  Thank you to the parents, guardians, families and friends who have assisted our children with our new E-Learning format.  You have played a vital role in continuing the education of the students of Charlotte County.  Thank you to the countless volunteers who ensure our children and families have food and supplies. Words cannot express what your generosity of time, effort and money has done for our children and families.  Thank you to the health care community for all you have done to keep all of our students, families, and staff healthy.  Simply put, you are our heroes.  Thank you to our local Law Enforcement Agencies for continuing to keep our staff and students safe and protected.  Thank you to our local businesses for the donations and use of your products and services.  Thank you to our local and state elected officials for all you have done to assist Charlotte County Schools by keeping this school district a priority at the state and federal level.  We have often said, so many times before, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Well, in Charlotte County, this sentiment could not be any more accurate.  This village has stepped up in a way not many other communities ever have.

In 2004, Charlotte County did not allow a storm named Charley to beat this community.  Instead, this community used that storm to galvanize itself and truly show what a community’s character should be during difficult times.  Charlotte County stood tall, stood hand-in-hand, stood together and changed this community forever.  I believe this is happening again.  Many communities have shown their true character during this difficult time.  In-fighting between agencies, hoarding supplies, and municipalities not working together are all the horror stories we see on the news and read in the paper.  However, not here.  Not in Charlotte County.  In Charlotte County, even in tough times, we stand tall, we stand hand-in-hand, and we stand together.  I cannot be any prouder to be just a small part of this great community.

Charlotte County, have a great Staff Appreciation Week.  You have definitely earned it!