NJEA President Marie Blistan was among those congratulating Kimberly Dickstein Hughes on Oct. 2, the day she was named 2019-20 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. From left: Haddonfield EA Co-President Rachel Gould, NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller, Dickstein Hughes, and Blistan.
One of the most powerful benefits of a career in education is the ability to transform lives. Every day, in every interaction with students, we are in a position to have an impact on their futures—and sometimes, we will never even know it happened.
For Brian Ward, auto technology teacher and local president at Sussex County Technical School in Sparta, the ability to influence the course of his students’ lives was one of the primary reasons he accepted a job in education. More than most, he knew the power that educators have to set a student on a path to success. After all, his teachers did it for him.
He tells his story, and how he is giving back to the teachers and school that changed his life, in our cover story this month. He also talks about how he views his role as local president and his responsibility not only to the dues-paying members of his local association, but to the students they serve.
All educators, regardless of job description, have the power to change lives. We believe that education itself has the power to do this. Certainly, the story of public education in the United States has been one of our nation’s greatest successes.
And educators like Brian, who are working to provide students with valuable, marketable skills, a strong work ethic, and self-confidence are building the next generation of public education’s success stories.
We know that the work that we do matters. We see it in the faces of our students every day, and in the stories that come back to us of lives well-lived.
Thank you for all that you do for public education and the students we serve. One by one, student by student, we are building the future of our communities, our state, our nation, and the world.