South Vermillion Community School

Open Letter

An Open Letter from Superintendent Chapman
Posted on 10/08/2019

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An open letter on behalf of our teachers…

Now that we’re into the heart of the school year, South Vermillion Community Schools have many reasons to be thankful, proud and inspired. In fact, there are well over 1,600 reasons! As the superintendent of this amazing school corporation, one of the things I am so proud of is the highly dedicated and compassionate educational professionals and support staff who walk the halls and the classrooms of our five great schools. To me, it doesn’t matter what job title they have as they are all educators in some way or another. To say they are the fuel that keeps the engine running is a major understatement. Without this finely-tuned engine running, we have no school corporation.

There is one particular group that I want to recognize…the teachers who serve our students…your children and grandchildren. It doesn’t take much to think about the lifelong impact teachers have on their students. For me, I was fortunate to have many teachers who saw something in me that others didn’t see. They pushed, they prodded, and yes, there were times they called my parents. And when that happened, I knew I was out of line, and I knew I had to change. At the time, however, I didn’t realize why the teacher had to “call home.” I now know why. It was because they cared and they knew the cooperative relationship between home and school would help me to be more successful.

Today, our teachers have a great deal on their plates. They wear many hats. They spend long hours beyond the school day working to perfect their craft. They listen to students who need someone to talk to. Often times, they spend their own hard earned money to help students with lunch money, clothes, shoes, or school supplies. They spend time in the evening grading papers, answering emails from students, preparing lessons and completing the required trainings, often sacrificing time with their own family. No, they are not perfect. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a perfect teacher, or a perfect person for that matter. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Teachers are engaged in continuous learning and professional development. They must be due to the continuous changes that public education endures, and they want to be so that they can be the best teachers they can be. Being an educator is a high stress occupation. They understand this and still come to their classroom every day to meet and greet their students…your children and grandchildren.

I often say that our teachers are the “preservers of civilization.” I say this because they influence the future by their words and deeds. They build relationships with students and parents. Sometimes there are disagreements, and that is understood, but at the same time, I would like to think whether they are new teachers or long-tenured teachers, they are making decisions based on what they believe to be best for the students…your children and grandchildren. They have that special knack for developing young minds to reach their potential and flourish beyond anyone’s expectations. I believe in that because it happened to me…because of a teacher!

I have one simple request of you. Think back to a time when a teacher reached out to you and made you feel special, important, or worthwhile. Maybe it was something very simple, but it meant the world to you because the teacher made a point to notice you.

In that light, please take a moment to thank our teachers. They deserve a pat on the back, a smile or a kind word. Let them know they are appreciated. They didn’t get into the teaching profession for fame and fortune. They became a teacher because of the passion they have in molding the young minds and developing the future of our community, state, and country…maybe even the world! It all starts with a simple word of “thanks.”


Dave Chapman

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