Letter: Children flourished and grew in Gloucester schools
Editor, Gazette Journal:
Last month I watched the last of my three children graduate from GHS, ending a cumulative 17 years of public school education in Gloucester County. This letter is to say thank you to the multiple teachers over the years that helped my three grow and flourish from kindergarten through senior year.
While there are too many to enumerate, this is a limited recognition of a few:
Thank you to Ms. Wiggs at Achilles Elementary, who ushered all three of my bashful five-year-olds through her door with warmth and sensitivity: they learned to read and write in your class! And to all the hardworking elementary school teachers who helped them climb that first rung of the ladder.
At Page Middle School: Thank you to Mr. Elliott and his discerning eye; he took the time to coach and critique my sixth grade daughters’ writing with great care and insight. And thank you to Ms. Woller, who assured me that my eighth grade son, so often assigned to the "silent lunch" table, was just going through a stage. She kindly and firmly kept steering him back, and she was right; this year that wayward boy was voted "most likely to succeed" by his classmates.
Thank you to Mr. Mathews and Mr. McGovern at GHS, who instilled a great love of history in my son; and thank you to Ms. Ryan! No one else could keep a teenage boy coming back for Latin year after year. A special thank you to the GHS triumvirate of Ms. Riley, Ms. Sharp and Ms. Baldwin; they enthused my girls with a love of the written and spoken word that they will carry with them forever. My daughters’ best days of high school were spent in the Dukes’ newsroom, the debate floor, and the classroom where T.S. Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" still rings in their ears.
I am certain that no private school or academy could have served my family any better than the public school teachers of Gloucester County. Seventeen years ago I sent out the first of three bright and eager children and got back more than I expected—dedicated and tireless teachers who answered every question and every email and every concern. My two girls just graduated from UVA and my son is headed to William and Mary in the fall, and they were all prepared for their future by the years spent here in school.
So to each and every teacher: thank you! for all the time and hours spent with grace and humor, energy and patience. We will always be grateful.
Laurie and Scott Hardaway