This week, schoolchildren in Greater Owensboro head back to class.
They will be greeted at the front doors, in the hallways and in their classrooms by one of the best assets our community has to offer: our teachers.
At the Chamber, we have the opportunity to see our educators in action in the business community. Through Teachers in the Workplace, we see our teachers and counselors connect with local business leaders to identify new pathways and maybe some old pathways they may not know about to enhance the opportunities their students have post-graduation.
Through our Community Campus, we see our principals, counselors and instructors collaborate with local homebuilders, crafts people and skilled trade leaders to grow opportunities for students to learn a skill or trade … a pathway to a great living.
And through our Leadership Owensboro program and our Chamber Young Professionals, we see the transformational work going on in our schools — the countless hours and personal resources school personnel dedicate to reaching their students, making sure their basic needs are met and enriching their overall quality of life.
We are also fortunate to see the other side of this great asset. We often meet with people who are moving to Owensboro or considering moving here. We see firsthand their amazement when they able to tour our schools and see what we have to offer locally. Often our schools are a primary reason for the talent recruitment edge we have.
It is not every community that values education and can truly say, “No matter where you go to school here, your children will get a world-class education.” We can say that with confidence.
And it is not commonplace to have a business community that embraces education and actively supports it like Greater Owensboro. We have never called a business and requested support or partnership for one of our educational programs without receiving an enthusiastic “Yes!”
These are things to celebrate. Great schools build great communities. And great schools are made that way one classroom at a time.
To our teachers who spent this weekend preparing their classrooms, shopping for their own children and grandchildren, losing sleep over the details they may be forgetting and having the butterflies of excitement for starting a new year — thank you for loving our children and for fueling our future.