Bill Cirone, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools

As the season of thanksgiving gets underway, I always like to take the time to express my thanks, on behalf of an entire grateful community, to the

unsung heroes and heroines in our local classrooms, who work day in and day out, under less than ideal circumstances, purely for the sake of our children and their learning.

There is an anonymous quote I’ve always liked. It says, “Without teachers there would be no other professions.” The obvious meaning is that no one is born knowing a profession — someone had to teach practitioners what to do. An equally important meaning is that teaching itself is a profession, requiring just as much skill and training as any other career — maybe more so than many others.

As we give thanks this season, it is fitting to include many of those unsung heroes and heroines who make a difference every day in the lives of local children.

Teachers personify our society’s belief that universal public education is key to meeting the challenges of a changing world. They strive to make every classroom an exciting environment where productive and useful learning can take place and each student is encouraged to grow and develop.

Our teachers reach out to enhance the well-being of each student, regardless of ability, motivation, background, race, ethnicity, or religion. Teachers also help inspire students to find new directions in life and reach for high levels of achievement.

We are thankful for all they do, and especially for the support from parents, business leaders, and members of the community that is so vital to their work. It is a fitting time to say ‘thank you’ to all.