DR. SUSAN PURSER: Four Who Did Moore County Schools Proud
I am proud to be an educator. I am excited about each day that offers me the opportunity to be a part of this noble profession.
I have been privileged to work with and for children throughout my career. I am humbled by the creativity, brilliance, ingenuity, commitment and love that I see in our schools. I am honored to be able to work with those who personify those qualities -- and I'm talking about our teachers. Their responsibility is nothing short of awesome. What they accomplish is nothing short of breathtaking. To watch them is to be inspired. To work with them is a joy.
The school system is made up of two critical groups: teachers and those who support teachers. Together, our mission is to provide engaging experiences that result in helping students learn what is needed to be successful citizens. And where do those engaging experiences take place? Yes, in our teachers' classrooms.
The high regard in which I hold teachers is -- I hope -- very evident as the conversation turns to our schools wherever I go. It is my privilege to work with a fine group of people in this county whose efforts exemplify that same high regard for teachers -- the Moore County Public Education Foundation.
As their mission states, the Public Education Foundation encourages excellence in educational practices by providing financial support and recognition for engaging learning experiences. However, that doesn't do justice to the work of this group. You must visit a classroom to really see what these people contribute to the education of our students.
If you do, you may be amazed to see what middle school students know about digital filming, or young students' knowledge of chamber music -- you may see 6-year-olds creating and caring for a butterfly and bird habitat, or children who are more excited about reading than ever before because they have been provided special reading materials.
To quote from the Public Education Foundation's Web site: "They all share one common goal -- promoting excellence in the Moore County Schools." And that is exactly what they do! Driven by a love of children, a realization of what a strong public school system means to our community and the quality of life we have here, and a commitment to doing all they can so our students can be all they can be, they epitomize the essence of excellence.
The Moore County Public Education Foundation began in 1984. It is only fitting that its Inaugural Graduates' Hall of Fame took place this year -- the celebration of the foundation's silver anniversary. At this special event, held March 26, the Public Education Foundation recognized four graduates of our school system who have contributed so much to our community.
Those honored were Dr. Andy Kiser, a surgeon at Moore Regional Medical Center; the late Teena Little, who taught in the local schools and went on to serve both on the State Board of Education and in the Legislature; Jef Moody, who excelled in track on a local, state and national level and now shares his expertise as a physical education teacher at Southern Pines Primary School; and Ben Owen III, who has brought international recognition to Moore County through his outstanding work in pottery.
What a worthy group to launch the Annual Public Education Foundation Graduates' Hall of Fame!
The contributions that have been made by the Moore County Public Education Foundation over the past 25 years cannot be measured in dollars, and the impact their work has had on children's lives and their futures is immeasurable. To all of those who presently serve on the Moore County Public Education Foundation and to all of those who have served over the past 25 years, I thank you, and I salute you!
Dr. Susan Purser is superintendent of Moore County public schools.
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