Steven Collins

Steven Collins

When you’re the son of an educator, growing up, you spend a lot of time in schools. As a boy, I would ride my tricycle inside Everts Middle School alongside my friends and fellow teachers’ kids.

I can remember helping my mother run copies off and prepare lesson plans. I knew what the inside of the teacher’s work room looked like, off limits to all other students.

I knew the teachers personally and called some of them by their first names. When school wasn’t in session, of course, I went to events where I got to see them beyond their usual facade of being a teacher. I knew who they were as people and what drove them and they were almost all incredibly different and interesting.

American National Education Week happens the week before Thanksgiving each year as a way to celebrate public education and the people who work in our nation’s public schools. We’re fortunate that in Pickaway County, we have four great public school systems.

When I found out about American National Education Week four years ago, I knew that would be a great opportunity to put the focus on those people. The people who make education tick in Pickaway County.

Sometimes, it feels like I spend more time in schools these days than I did before I graduated from Circleville in 2008, but that’s for good reason. There is so much good that happens in the schools these days that it’s impossible to cover or mention it all. Each and every day, teachers work to inspire and educate students so that they have every opportunity to live fulfilling lives.

I think back to my mother, Donna Reed. She’s been a teacher at Circleville for 30 years, even before we moved to Circleville in 1993. I’ve seen over the years how she’s gone above and beyond for her students as a special education teacher and now intervention specialist and for her co-workers and fellow staff members.

From buying Lego sets, to helping students get better at understanding written instructions, to buying a card at Christmas for the school’s custodians, she’s always gone above and beyond. She’s not the only one. I know countless teachers, both current and retired, who gave their all and often, their own dollars to help students succeed in the classroom.

In schools all over Pickaway County, teachers, administrators, support staff and custodians give their all to make sure that our schools are productive, safe and clean environments to work and learn.

With that spirit in mind, I set out to highlight just some of the things that are happening from new ideas in instruction, to programs the schools implement to incredible people to share their stories.

I couldn’t cover every story or share every wonderful thing that happens in the schools every year, but I think this week is a way to showcase stories that otherwise might not come up throughout the school year.

It’s with that in mind that I’ll present 12 different stories this week, featuring each of the public school districts and a few that aren’t connected directly to any of them.

As resilient and wonderful as our young students are, I think a lot of them have some incredible staff members and mentors to look to for what it means to take pride in your work and how to be excellent, day in and day out. I know growing up and to this day, I sure do.

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