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Guest Commentary: School District continues to build bridges

By Melisa W. Giovannelli - | Oct 6, 2021

Excitement can always be felt with the start of a new school year. New teachers, new classes, and extracurricular activities lend excellent social outlets and growth opportunities. Seeing adorable back-to-school photos of children and teacher’s classrooms decorated in anticipation of the first day are sure to bring a smile.

The 2021-2022 school year started with all great things in mind but, unfortunately, a new level in the pandemic, that posed enormous challenges, hit hard.

It has been an honor for me to serve the students, staff, and parents of Lee County during this time, and I am so grateful that our students are attending school in person. The devotion and dedication of our superintendent, leadership team, and district staff is unprecedented.

Suzy Kassem, Harvard University graduate and popular American poet, has been quoted worldwide from “Forbes” to “Ted Talks,” to religious leaders and politicians about leadership.

She says, “Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance.”

Ms. Kassem’s words stir up emotion and ring ever so true in Lee County this year.

Our current superintendent stepped into a difficult role when he took the position on June 15. Lee County has encountered challenging situations in the health pandemic, but with the Leadership of Dr. Savage, the law has been followed accurately and timely.

I am honored to serve with Dr. Savage, who is a proven “bridge builder” as he has responded morally and ethically to the challenges he has faced.

Let’s remember to thank our staff as we encounter them, and be appreciative for a district making in-person learning a top priority.

— Melisa W. Giovannelli represents District 2 on the Lee County School Board