By Lauren Brant
“The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day.” – Todd Whitaker, American educator and speaker
Public schools provide students with opportunities to learn concepts and life skills so they grow into successful members of the community. To recognize the teachers and staff that make these environments positive and productive, Gordon-Rushville Public Schools and Hay Springs Public Schools celebrated the third annual I Love Public Schools day on Wednesday, January 24.
Public schools are crucial to the development and success of the community’s youth as teachers and faculty instill knowledge of subjects and values. “I believe that it is important for students to attend public schools because they are provided the opportunity not only to receive an education but to gain social skills and gain empathy in order to prepare them to be citizens in a future community,” said Gordon Elementary fourth grade teacher Mrs. Lynn Schott.
As Nebraska’s public schools continue to adapt to meet students’ needs and give students a safe atmosphere for learning, these public schools also act as the first step for establishing a lifelong love of learning. Gordon Elementary third grade teacher Mrs. Simonson shared the influential role parents have in instilling a value of learning in their children to make students understand the importance of education. Third grader Chase Sasse-Denis said he comes to school “so I can get smarter [and] sometimes we get to do fun science projects.”
The public schools staff value each student who walks through the doors and they work to provide a safe environment for learning. “Public education is about teaching kids to do their best, try hard, challenge themselves, respect themselves and others, appreciate differences, and utilize their natural talents,” wrote Gordon-Rushville Public Schools Superintendent Lori Liggett. “With hard work, dedication and commitment to learning there is nothing a student in today’s public schools cannot accomplish.”
Public schools impact the civic life of the community and show the dedication of teachers to shape students’ successes. “What is the most satisfying is running into some former student years after they have graduated and seeing what kind of person that they have become,” wrote Hay Springs Social Studies teacher Brad Bounous. “Knowing that I had a part in making them into that person is very gratifying.”
For the teachers, it’s all about the students and having the privilege to watch them grow academically and socially. Public schools’ staff are committed to each student’s success. “I also enjoy our staff,” wrote Gordon-Rushville High School teacher Kim Turnbull-Campbell. “We all come from our different areas but I truly believe we are all working together to provide the best atmosphere for our kids.”
Students shared appreciation for the activities they are exposed to and their teachers. Gordon Elementary kindergärtner Kyley Tausen said she likes going to school because it is fun and her teacher, Mrs. Johnson, is nice.
Gordon-Rushville High School senior Morgan Darnell said, “It’s free education and you get so many opportunities. There are so many different things to do through the school, and we are fortunate to have that. We get to make friends and learn while doing it.”
The staff at Hay Springs and Gordon-Rushville public schools districts inspires their students’ minds and are a big reason students love public schools.