For many students and teachers in Atlanta Public Schools, May marks one of the most favorite times of the school year as anticipation rises about the end of school and, for our seniors, graduation. This, too, is a favorite moment for me … and one reason involves this week: National Teacher Appreciation Week. For it is now, when we can really celebrate the selfless and tireless work of amazing, dynamic and fabulous teachers all over the district.
I can never stress enough about the importance of our teachers as they truly serve on the front line on our mission to graduate every child ready for college and career. Research shows that the most important factor in student achievement is high-quality educators. Every day inside and outside of our classrooms, they provide our students with guidance, motivation and inspiration so they can succeed far beyond the boundaries of their school building. After a child’s parents, no one is more instrumental in their development than a teacher.
This year, we literally got off to an early start of celebrating this week. On Saturday, May 4, at Brown Middle School and on the Westside Beltline Trail, more than 940 teachers, students, community members and others who support Atlanta Public Schools signed up for the race, and close to 650 of them turned out and ran the Inaugural APS Rocks and Runs 5K and Fun Run in celebration of APS educators. See our photo gallery here!
The proceeds of that race helped pay for gifts for all of our teachers. Special delivery teams and I started today to personally deliver the gifts and surprises, which includes free admission to the Fernbank Museum of National History! (Keep checking @CarstarphenMJ and @apsupdate on Twitter for new photos of incredible teachers in action!)
I am not sure that I or anyone can thank our teachers enough for all that they do for our students and our city, state and nation. But please take a moment in person and on social media to #ThankATeacher. Let us know about special teachers @CarstarphenMJ and @apsupdate!
Much love and big hugs to teachers everywhere!!!!!
Below are our 2019 STAR teachers and students.