Education has the power to make the world a better place. This might seem like a bold claim, but statistics show that education reduces poverty levels, boosts economic growth, fosters peace, makes people healthier, and saves lives. And those claims just refer to primary and secondary education, not college or anything post high school.
I can list study after study, statistics, graphs and tables, which will speak to the importance of education, but for the sake of time and space, I’ll just assume our readers recognize and appreciate its value so we can move on. We might not all agree on the methods used or the criteria by which we assess its effectiveness, but we can all surely agree that education is important.
When we started brainstorming for this fall issue of Focus on Artesia, I knew I wanted it to center around education. More specifically, I wanted us to take a look at specific aspects of education, such as the benefits of learning a foreign language (which you can read about on page 28), and the measures some students are taking in order to play sports at the collegiate level (story on page 20) while maintaining an acceptable GPA.
But it isn’t just primary and secondary education that we delve into with this issue of Focus on Artesia. Jessica Addington shares the story of a young mom who dropped out of high school at 15, only to go back, obtain her GED, and go on to attend college and become a nurse. She also introduces us to a woman who decided at 26 to start college and has since gone on to earn two bachelor’s degrees. These stories are sure to inspire you and serve as a reminder that regardless of the obstacle before you, with hard work and determination, you can make anything a reality.
Lastly, the story about Mary Perry (on page 6) proves that working in education can yield decades of job satisfaction. What began as a volunteer opportunity in her children’s classrooms eventually led to a 51-year career and counting with the Head Start Program.
I read a quote once that stuck with me regarding education. The philosopher and writer Jiddu Krishnamurti said that “there is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” I like that idea. It’s an idea that I have heard time and time again from teachers and professors, from mentors and even in the workforce – never stop learning! If you’re of the age or mindset that you’re finished with school and college is out of the question, check out our Simple Ways To Implement Learning piece on page 17. You’ll find some really basic, realistic ways you can squeeze learning opportunities into your schedule.
And what education issue would be complete without hearing from our readers who tell us all about their most influential teachers!
Check out their Facebook responses on page 9 and see if any of your favorite teachers made the list! Mine are not listed on that page, but I’ll list them here: Gambra Green, who was the sweetest, kindest elementary school teacher; Pam Atkins, who made Language Arts fun and fostered my love of grammar and the English language; Sherrie Bratcher, who encouraged me as a writer and taught me about personal style; and Joseph Schiel, whose biology class was exciting and entertaining, a bit icky at times, but always educational! Of course there were others but these are the ones that come to mind when I look back on the years I spent in the Artesia Public School system. I am grateful for their influence in my life and their dedication to educating youth in our community.
If you haven’t done so yet, make sure and “Like” us on Facebook. Also, this publication would not be possible without the advertisers you see throughout each issue. Please let them know you saw their ad here and show them some love if you can! Until next time!
– Staci Guy, Editorial Director
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Staci Guy is the editorial director of Focus on Artesia. She can be reached at email@example.com.