Monday, June 23, 2008

Going Above & Beyond

As I’m sitting here watching with profound sadness the HBO documentary, Hard Times at Douglass High, a painful indictment on the nation’s public education system, my sense of total despair is tempered by an article I read in today’s Philadelphia Daily News touting the retirement of Dr.Erlene Nelson, a kindergarten teacher at the Drew Elementary School.

Dr. Nelson is a 78 year-old great-grandmother and on Thursday she ended her tenure of 51 years as an educator in the Philadelphia School District. She has taught in the city’s school system longer than any other teacher in recent history. It’s estimated she’s taught more than 3000 students.

In addition to her retirement package, I hope Dr. Nelson has been offered combat pay, because teaching in the Philadelphia School district is no joke!

I salute Dr. Nelson and her years of service. She is a true heroine, and her career as an educator should be heralded and celebrated by all.

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