As I reflect this year, I am most thankful to be a part of a great school system in a great community. Never have the blessings that we share been more apparent that over the past several weeks as we have witnessed such pain and hardship with the tumultuous events at home and abroad.
The Christmas story is about a baby born to two humble people denied refuge on a dark night in an era of oppression and cruelty. Hanukkah, too, focuses on light prevailing against darkness in a time of conflict. The two stories are instructive in our current age. In a time where we witness so much hopelessness from so many, we celebrate this Christmas the hope that OPS teachers and staff provide to the students in our schools through kindness, generosity, and hard work. I believe the work we do day-to-day in our schools provides hope as a defiant act to confront the shadows of terrorism and inhumanity. My prayer this Christmas is rooted in the belief that the work we do as educators through the heroic love we offer in serving the students--no matter their background, race, or creed—will make our community and our world a better place.