Letter to the Editor: Thank you and best wishes from former school board chairman

As we close out the year and usher in a new one, I would like to thank everyone who supported my November unsuccessful bid for re-election to the Beaufort County Board of Education.  Whether you assisted with the petition process to get on the ballot; provided financial assistance, campaign sign distribution/collection, advice, words of encouragement or vote, I sincerely appreciate it.  A special thank you to my wife, Barbara, and family for being so tolerant and understanding during my years of public service.
I also want to express my appreciation to those of you throughout Beaufort County who have become more aware of and involved in our public schools.  Those improvements made in our schools recently are due in part to your engagement.  I encourage you to remain involved/aware AND get others to join you.  Ask about and become a part of the mandated School Improvement Council (SIC) in your area school(s).  Businesses, retirees, military, non-parents as well as parents of our students need to be a part of SICs.
For the past six years, you have given me the opportunity to serve as a public education policymaker for all of our children. While not always successful in achieving my expectations for the board or myself, I hope that I have helped promote and demonstrate the proposition that there is strength in the diversity within our county AND that working together for the common good results in better outcomes for our students and our community as a whole.  Let me thank those competent teachers, building leaders and staff throughout the district who make positive contributions to our success daily.
My congratulations and support is extended to the recently elected board — seven new individuals and four returning.  While elected as individuals, please never lose sight of the fact that you are a member of a team. Don’t fall into the trap of parochialism. Each of you possesses assets that could assist in the academic and personal improvement of all our students, but you must establish a common path to apply your talents.  In closing, I challenge you, as elected public education leaders, to demonstrate to our students, the school administration and community in general how to maximize problem solving and minimize problem creation.
Thankfully and appreciatively,
Fred S. Washington, Jr.

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