November 16-20 will mark the annual observance of American Education Week. The event presents all of us with the opportunity to celebrate education and honor the individuals who are making a difference in ensuring every child receive a quality education. It also highlights the importance of bringing together educators, parents, students and communities in a unified effort to build great schools.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to our schools. As the school year progresses, we are so proud of everyone who has risen to the challenge of the past months and so grateful for their hard work and contributions.

The experience of distance learning and challenging classroom procedures over the past months has given us a deeper appreciation for the patience, dedication and commitment of the staffs of our Madison schools.

Teachers have found new ways to connect with students and keep kids learning and growing. Administrators, librarians, specialists and support staff have helped maintain a strong feeling of community even when we can't be together. We owe these incredible Madison educators our thanks and appreciation.

Parents have also shown extraordinary resilience and resolve. We understand what an incredible juggling act it can be for parents and caregivers.

Finally, we would like to thank the students who have worked so hard. Being away from friends, and missing out on important experiences, from field trips to traditional graduation ceremonies, is disappointing. But this burden has not kept you from dreaming big and following those dreams. It has not kept you from serving your community and supporting your friends and family.

During American Education Week, we encourage everyone to find a way to thank all the teachers, staff, parents, students and community leaders who have gotten us all to this point.

Penni Groce, Chair

Education Committee

Chamber of Commerce

Madison, Nov. 12