Fall is here, cooler weather has finally arrived, and we are over halfway through the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year. We have had a very busy fall in Elmore County with sporting events, homecoming festivities, and other extracurricular activities.
With Thanksgiving approaching, I have many reasons to be thankful for the Elmore County Public School System. First, I am thankful for the parents who send us their children daily, trusting that we will teach them as well as care for and nurture them while they are with us. I am thankful for parents who continue to seek ways to participate in their child(ren)’s school activities. I am thankful for parents who offer a word of encouragement to a teacher or other school staff member or send additional supplies to a classroom during the school year. I am truly thankful for parents who communicate their high expectations and the value of education to their children.
Second, I am so thankful for our students! We have a diverse population of 11,334 students with approximately 30 languages spoken by our English learners. Our students participate in a wide variety of sports and other extracurricular activities that help them grow personally and equip them with skills to be better students and future workers. I firmly believe in the value of these activities, and I appreciate the time and effort our staff members devote to working with students outside the regular school day. Our 2023 graduates earned a combined total of over $18 million in scholarships which is evidence of their personal determination and commitment to achieving their academic goals.
Third, I am thankful for the community spirit that is evident in all our attendance areas. The support of local businesses, churches, and other organizations is a tremendous benefit to our schools.
Finally, I am thankful for our employees. Every employee plays an important role in fulfilling our purpose: Every Student Empowered – Every Student Succeeds. Every single employee contributes in some way to ensuring that we educate our children to the best of our ability in a clean, safe environment with sufficient resources. As the largest employer in Elmore County, I am thankful for the talented, dedicated, resourceful employees who do what they do for our students.
Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for those things for which we are thankful, and I am thankful for everyone in the Elmore County School System. Happy Thanksgiving!
Richard Dennis is the Superintendent of Education for Elmore County Schools. He is a 1983 graduate of Holtville High School. He served 21 years as a high school principal at Holtville High, Wetumpka High and most recently, Prattville High. He and wife, Leslie (also an educator) have three sons and a daughter.