Teachers and Principals Believe in Santa Claus Too!

As 2014 winds down and we await the dawn of 2015 with anticipation, it seemed appropriate to share an uplifting human interest article that showcases faith, hope, trust, wonder, service and education. As educators we daily exhibit faith, hope, trust and wonder as we perform our services to our students in a climate of limited or lack of adequate resources.

According to an article by Valerie Srauss in the Washington Post, on December 25, 2014, New York City Laura Virginia O’Hanlon of the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” served 43 years a teacher and principal after earning a master’s degree from Columbia University and a PhD from Fordham University in New York City. The Studio School which has a scholarship in her name was started in her Greenwich Village childhood home in New York City. The website gives her the following tribute:

“In the tradition of a curious young girl, Virginia, who lived in the house that became our school, we celebrate the promise and fulfillment of every child. The Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship Fund will make it possible for more children to grow up to believe in themselves, and embrace the journey of learning. Virginia grew up to be an educator and advocate for children’s rights and believed that all children, regardless of social background, should have the same learning opportunities.”

Virginia, like most teachers and principals in order to keep motivating students to achieve beyond expectations, and to keep thriving against all odds still believe that there is a “Santa Claus”. We believe our students are capable and we work hard to help our students grow into well-rounded citizens of the world who can also succeed in college or in chosen careers. We choose not to act as “Virginia’s friends” described by the editor of the Sun in Sept. 21, 1897 as follows:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” “Virginia, Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible to their little minds.”

in 2015 and beyond, keep up the great work you do with students in all schools across the globe in your roles as teachers, principals and educators!

2014 Education News: Best and Worst!

Here is a sample of Larry Ferlazzo’s list of what he considers 2014 education’s “best and worst news”. Ferlazzo’s annual list is usually very insightful and worth checking out. Ferlazzo is a teacher, author and blogger.

The Best Education News Of 2014

Demand for changes to the teacher evaluation system.

Increase in high school graduation rates.

Decrease in drop-out rates.

NAEP test scores showed an increase, especially for minority students.

Students in Colorado successfully fought to keep their Advanced Placement History course intact.

Newark, New Jersey elected Ras Baraka its mayor over the “One Reform” platform.

National Education Association elected Lily Eskelsen García as president.

Pennsylvania elected Tom Wolfe as its governor over Tom Corbett.

Tom Torlakson was retained as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in California.

Karen Lewis is recovering from a brain surgery in Chicago.

Standardized testing received many attacks.

Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“Dana Goldstein’s book, The Teacher Wars, was published and became a bestseller.”

“The millions of students who had great learning experiences in their schools this year.”

“Two destructive “school reformers” left the public scene:”

“Michelle Rhee stepped down as chief of  StudentsFirst.”

John Deasy resigned (or was pushed) from his position as Los Angeles school superintendent after a series of arrogant and disastrous maneuvers, including a fiasco of trying to purchase thousands of iPads. Earlier this month, the FBI seized twenty boxes of documents related to that program from the District’s offices.”

Read about Ferlazzo’s worst 2014 education news and more here.