TODAY Is National Teachers Day! – An Open Letter From GDOE Superintendent Fernandez Honoring Island Teachers


Guam – Today is National Teachers Day and to mark the occasion Guam DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez has issued an open letter to the island’s public school teachers, honoring their service.

READ Superintendent Fernandez’s letter below:

Superintendent of Education
May 7, 2013

Dear Teachers,

 I want to take this moment to thank you for all that you do for our students and their families.

Today is National Teacher Day, and this year’s theme is “Teachers Make Great Public Schools.”

As your Superintendent, I couldn’t agree more. In my visits to your schools, I have had many opportunities to talk with you about the challenges and opportunities we face as we try to improve public education here on Guam. I have told you what I tell anyone who asks about the secret to our future success: Above all, teachers matter. Great teachers make great schools, and I am committed to making sure we promote great teaching in all that we do going forward.

It is not easy being a teacher. I know because you’ve told me all that you do on a daily basis to try to support our kids, whether it is staying late to grade student work, prepare lessons, call parents, and supervise activities. Yes, this is part of what your job entails, but I know that many of you do it also because it is simply in the best interests of your students. I know you want your students to succeed.

When I met with many of you over the summer, I reflected on what you told me about the limitations we face. For that reason, I committed $1 million in funding from the U.S.

Department of Interior to go directly to teachers for school supplies and materials. I committed an additional $1 million to your schools to support school-wide needs, such as playground supplies and equipment, to make it easier for you to serve students. We also have laptops available for every teacher, and we are pushing additional technology into the classroom to help you with your teaching. I know you see the work going into our school facilities to repair roofs and fire alarm systems to help improve the environment for learning.

Things are not perfect, but we see progress, and we will work for more on your behalf. That is my commitment.

Today, most of all, we want to honor you and acknowledge your hard work. Thank you for all that you do for our students. Thank you for giving them the opportunity to succeed.

Thank you for being the difference. Happy National Teacher Day!

With appreciation,
Jon Fernandez
Guam Department of Education
PO Box DE, Hagatna, GU 96932