You know there is no better feeling than
one of having helped a student find his our her way. I had
such a feeling recently after having a great day at North
Dade Middle School serving as Principal for a Day. My hat
is off to School Principals like Mrs. Eunice Davis - for
people like her truly earn their keep.
Moreover, I had the good fortune of working with Mr.
Sippio, Mr. Barry Singleton, Mrs. Penny Puco, Mr. Alvin
Miller, who also serves as Mayor of Opa-locka and Mrs.
Johnson the Reading Leader. I want to offer a special
shout out to all the other administrators and staff members
and parents who are working smartly to keep our children
on task and on track.
I was blessed to have met some of the sharpest students
in North Dade County during my service. I want Mrs. Davis
to know that her work and that of her team is appreciated
by our school system, and I say to them keep up the great
I also want to offer a special salute to Mr. Steve Wolf
who seem to be all over the place. He too visited North
Dade Middle School to see how things were going. Keep
up the great work Steve.
Let me also send a "shout out" to Mrs. Thelma
Calloway. Mrs. Calloway is one of our downtown supervisors
who seems to always be on the case of promoting a learning
for our students and their parents. Right on Mrs. Calloway,
you are making, a positive difference in the lives of
You know I am convinced more than ever that many of our
people don't come into the teaching profession or work
in our schools merely for the pay. Especially if you take
into consideration what the American Federation of Teachers
have to say.
They note that if you factor in the hours teachers spend
in and outside the classroom, the physical and emotional
exertion required to handle just two children, let alone
twenty-five or 30 Plus, add the stress associated with
shaping one's own future, and you quickly come to the
conclusion that teachers are grossly underpaid.
What I think is the driving force for most of the people
I have met is their desire to make a positive difference
in the lives of students. I find that many of our teachers
are viewed as surrogate mothers or fathers - and have
numerous opportunities during a typical nine-month school
year to shape, and even redirect their student's future.
I'm sure I don't have to convince any of you watching
of the pivotal role in helping students, especially first
generation students get on board the learning train.
So I'm asking you if you know any of the people I have
named or if you know any teacher, administrator, staff
person, parent who are about the business of helping our
children learn, Give them a pat on the back and tell them
how much you appreciate their service. In keeping with
my own suggestion, I want to thank Dr. Eddie Pearson,
Dr. Henry Fraind, Dr. Carol Cortez, Dr. Nelson Diaz and
Ms. Bernadette Potier, Ms. Potier is an Administrative
Director in our downtown office - all of the foregoing
are making a positive difference in our school organization.
I'm also going to send, as our young folk would say,
"a shout out" to staff from time to time because
I don't think they get the appropriate notice for jobs
well done. So my hat is off to Mr. Joe Mathos, Mr. Ron
Felton, Mr. Nelson Perez, Mr. Samuel Gay, Dr. John Goonen,
Ms. Mary lngram, Mrs. Hyacinth Johnson, Mr. Mark Zaher,
Mr. Carlos Manrique, Ms. Joan Connors, Mrs. Yvonne Tart
Jenkins and Mr. Earl Davis a great group from the Community
& Alternative Education & Student Support Services
that continues to do a great work.
Finally, to the students who may be watching - please
participate in my "READ TO LEAD" campaign. Visit
my web page and click on the "READ TO LEAD"
dot. Every student that reads 10 books that are verified
by a teacher or counselor will be rewarded with a beautiful
certificate of achievement signed by me.
To get you started, LET ME SUGGEST A BOOK. The book is
titled "The Seven habits of Highly Effective Teens"
by Sean Covey. There exist many stories in this book but
there is one particularly story that I thought was exceptionally
It was a story about King Louis the Sixteenth of France.
It seems that King Louis had been taken from his throne
and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by
those who dethroned the king.
They thought that inasmuch as the king's son was heir
to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would
never realize the great and grand destiny that life had
bestowed upon him. They took him to a community far away,
and there exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing
that life could offer. They exposed him to foods the richness
of which would quickly make him a slave to appetite.
They used vile language around him constantly. They exposed
him to lewd and lusting women. They exposed him to dishonor
and distrust. The young Prince was surrounded twenty-four
hours a day by everything that could drag the soul of
a man as low as one could slip.
For over six-months he had this treatment but not once
did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after
intensive temptation, the captures questioned him. Why
had he not submitted himself to these things? Why had
he not partaken? All of the things that were offered provided
pleasure, things that would satisfy one's lusts, and things
that were desirable to everyone else; and all of them
were offered to him, why wouldn't he partake in them?
The boy said, "I cannot do what you ask for I was
born to be king".
To all the students watching I want you to take the same
attitude in approaching your time in school and your studies.
You see you too were born to a king or queen. If you find
peers that are trying to get you caught up in doing things
that are either illegal, immoral or improper hold on to
what you know is right and do what is right. Don't let
no one turn you around.
Because you have to live with yourself- make certain
that you are in good company. We need you to demonstrate:
A-courage that will not run from your responsibility.
A faith that will not doubt positive guidance.
A confidence that will not betray your family.
A commitment ::that will not forsake your teachers
A character that will not submit to fads and foolishness
A perseverance, that will not give in, give up or give
Know that if you can conceive it, and believe it, you
can achieve it. Yes, it is your attitude, not your aptitude,
that will determine your altitude.
Finally, it is right to start where you are But you don't
have to stay where you are. Thank you for joining me at
this hour. Have a blessed day.