To build excitement around the teaching profession and encourage students to pursue a career in education, Ware County High School participated in Georgia’s Future Educators Signing Day, a statewide initiative sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education, earlier this month. The event celebrated 13 graduating seniors from the class of 2022 who have made the decision to pursue a career in education.
Keynote speaker, United States Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, personally addressed the future educators by name via Zoom while sharing his post-pandemic view of education.
“This is your opportunity to reimagine education,” stated Secretary Cardona, as he invited the future educators to take an active role in redefining the American educational system as we know it. “What would school look like to you? How could you reimagine it?” he asked.
Secretary Cardona encouraged the group to persevere in their dreams, to hold fast to the idea that education is the great equalizer toward success, and to follow their passion for educating children. He expressed his commitment to the graduating seniors and to all educators with higher wages, meaningful and ongoing professional learning and development, supportive working conditions, and a work environment where their voices are welcome as critical partners.
Secretary Cardona congratulated each student for signing the pledge personally as they posed for a photo with him.
Dr. Lynn Barber, Director of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education for Ware County School District reflected on the event and said, “It was remarkable. The Secretary of Education of the United States called each student by name. This was such an honor they will never forget.”
Georgia Future Educators Signing Day, held each year during Teacher Appreciation Week, is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education’s Division of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education in partnership with the Georgia Early Childhood Education Foundation (GECEF) and Georgia’s colleges and universities.
“Students cannot succeed without great teachers in the classroom,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We know, however, that teacher recruitment and retention is a serious issue in our state, as it is nationwide. Part of our comprehensive approach to addressing teacher recruitment and retention is elevating the teaching profession. Future Educators Signing Day allows us to celebrate those students who answer the incredibly important calling of becoming an educator.”
Pictured L to R: Luci T., Savannah W., Brooklyn G., Kaylin A., Megan R., Shaniah L., Joseph H., Hailey L., Justice F., A'Leecia F., and Maribel P. are pictured with Education Pathway Instructor Mrs. Colleen Lagoueyte after signing a commitment to enter the teaching profession. (Not pictured: Emily M.)
Emily M. poses with US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona after pledging to pursue a post-secondary degree in education at Presbyterian College in South Carolina.
Students listen attentively to Secretary Cardona's address.