Teacher Appreciation Week: F-M leaders salute educators

Fayetteville-Manlius School District Superintendent Craig J. Tice and F-M Board of Education President Marissa Joy Mims sent the following letter to F-M educators today in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Dear F-M Faculty and Staff,

The success of our district is dependent on the quality of instruction given to our students. The past year presented extraordinary challenges for you as educators.  The demands on you were high. It likely felt that there was never enough time and an endless list of things to do.  We know that this year has taken a personal toll on all of you. Saying thank you during Teacher Appreciation Week hardly seems enough for what you have accomplished this year.  We cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are to you.

This year more effort was made to involve teachers in decision making.  We hope that you felt listened to and respected as educators.  As a board we know that the decisions we make affect your lives beyond the classroom.  We want to know how these decisions impact you.  We have appreciated hearing from many of you this year about your concerns.  As a governance team we know the impact of our decisions on the entire organization.  Continue to share your thoughts as they help inform our decisions.

The recent statement condemning racism that FMTA Fourth Vice President, Dr. Denise Mahns, read at a board meeting was a message that our community needed to hear.  It was not a surprise that our teachers would reach out seeking to teach our community about tolerance and diversity.  We know that you value each of our students as an individual with their own unique needs.

Our recent return to more in person instructional days has gone well for our students.  We hope that you feel supported by the board in accomplishing this task.  It certainly was not an easy shift.  As we look forward to the end of this school year and the start of the next, we are optimistic that with vaccinations readily available, school life can return to normalcy.  There were many life lessons reinforced during this pandemic that we can carry forward, the most important being how much this district runs on the strength of our relationships with one another.

Without a doubt, this year’s unprecedented changes have required all of us to innovate within our own areas of responsibility, and we are particularly proud of the adjustments that our staff have made. Undoubtedly, the work of our teaching assistants, custodians, maintenance workers, bus drivers, bus mechanics, dispatchers, food service employees, administrative professionals, instructional technology workers, school nurses, teacher aides, non-instructional supervisors, and administrators have provided outstanding support to our school community. From additional cleaning responsibilities to changes in bus routes, from preparing meals “to go” and learning to host online meetings, you have shown your amazing dedication to our students.

On behalf of a grateful community, thank you for all that you do for the children!

Hornet Pride,

Marissa Joy Mims
Board of Education President

Craig J. Tice, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools