This week school districts across the nation celebrate American Education Week. The theme for this year's tribute to education is "Raise Your Hand for Student Success." Typically, students raise their hands in a classroom when they know the answer —  when they want to respond to a question, share a story, or contribute to the discussion. They raise their hand when they want to be acknowledged.

American Education Week is a week during which we acknowledge those that contribute to the education of all of our kids inside and outside the classroom — bus drivers, custodians, school secretaries, nurses, media specialists, substitutes, crossing guards, special education support, and classroom teachers. Without a wide array of personnel schools could not begin to meet the needs of all students.

When thinking about this year's theme, "Raise Your Hand for Student Success," I think about another possibility for why students and others raise their hand - people raise their hand when they support an idea. Education is important to our students' success in the future but quality public education is also important to our national security and the economic future of our country. I wonder at the foresight of our founding fathers that established an education system that educates all children — no matter their race, creed, sex, or ability of their parents to pay for this right. Now, it wasn't always the case. There were periods in our nation's history when young girls were not educated in the same manner as young boys. We even have the unfortunate history of people of color not being allowed to be educated and then when a public education was available it was often in sub-standard conditions, separated from white children. Today we view education as the right of every child.

Every day educators across the nation, and in Newton, strive to create great public schools. These educators work to create learning environments that have a positive impact on their students. Teachers work diligently to support students' learning and assist students in becoming successful in school.

Education continues to change. Educators strive to respond to changing standards, new technologies, and increasing expectations for achievement. We acknowledge our responsibility to continue to improve! We appreciate how well the USD 373 patrons have accepted their responsibility through the financial support of the district; attendance at public events; and participation in school site councils, district forums, and even parent and teacher conferences.

— Deb Hamm, Superintendent of USD 383