For all the struggles that went into reopening schools this summer, Nature did smile on Vermont's teachers and learners this week as our kids returned to school: conditions have been perfect for outdoor activity. Going in circles around my hay fields, I had a lot of time to think and feel a surge of thankfulness for the people who have made our schools ready.

Thank you, bus drivers. Thank you, nurses. Thank you, teachers. Thank you, paraeducators. Thank you, custodians. Thank you, network administrators. Thank you, cooks. Thank you, principals. Thank you, secretaries. Thank you, crossing guards. Thank you, financial managers. Thank you, superintendents. Thank you, PTA and volunteers. We are mindful of the extraordinary challenges you have faced, to support teaching and learning in 2020.

I'm also thankful and feel respect for the moms and dads and grandparents who have been keeping our children alert and healthy during this long time of schools being closed. Whether you put your kids on the bus this week, or committed to teaching and learning at home, you have helped keep our communities strong, and have made sacrifices along the way.

And kids, I'm grateful to you, too. You're the reason why the adults are trying so hard. Your growth means the world to us. My own heart goes out to you most of all, for your resilience and joy. You're teaching all of us, every day. Thank you, everyone. Godspeed.

Sean Whalen is the Weathersfield School Board chair.

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