As will ever know and it is vital to

 As we embark on 2018, let me express my sincere gratitude to each of you for your commitment to the most important profession of all time; educating our youth, providing safe and nourishing environments for them; and providing opportunities for a fulfilling life when they exit our school walls. You each positively impact more lives than you will ever know and it is vital to remind yourself of this each day.  YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE! You see, the challenges we face will not be solved immediately.  We are in the midst of a teacher shortage, and some naysayers do not respect this field of work. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or another time. We all must be the change and unite with pride over our choice to commit to this professional field. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those children who have so little; who’ve been told that they cannot have what they dream; that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes they can. We are the hope of the father who goes to work before sunrise and lies awake at night with worries that tell him he cannot give his children the same opportunities that someone gave him. Yes he can, and we provide that opportunity. We are the hope for the woman who hears that her child will be in gangs and has a future behind bars and will never amount to anything.  Yes the child can be anything, and we provide that opportunity. We are the hope of the future; the answer to the cynics who tell us our work does not matter; that we cannot come together; that we cannot remake this profession as it should be.  We are the hope for the future.  In reaffirming the greatness of our profession, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of materials and riches. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the go-getters, the passionate believers. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of education calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to advocate for our jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will continue to transform our schools to meet the demands of the future. All this we can do. And all this we will do. What the cynics fail to understand is that Crane has passionate, determined, dedicated staff that will continue the work of greatness. Please let there be no doubt, the work you do transforms lives and makes our community and world a better place. With profound gratitude and great humility, I thank you and eagerly look forward to working alongside you in 2018. Happiest of New Years to you! ~ Laurie