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Best wishes for the school year

The Millerton News Editorial

Last week, students from around the Harlem Valley returned to school after what we can confidently assume was, for most, too short of a summer. It marked the end of their months-long vacation, putting a stop to days of freedom — awaking lazily with the birds chirping and staying up late with the moon and the stars illuminating the darkened sky.

While the start of a new school year is often begrudged by those wishing to extend their break, it is also the beginning of an exciting time. That holds true for not just students, but for administrators, teachers and other school staff, not to mention parents.

A fresh academic year brings with it the thrill of rejoining classmates and favorite teachers, of cracking books that had been collecting dust on library shelves and of retrieving sports equipment that had grown stale in metal lockers. It also brings with it the anticipation of young minds about to be introduced to a world of previously unknown facts and figures.

It’s the opportunity for students to expand their horizons and to learn about and experiment with typically unfamiliar subjects and materials — whether that’s in the science lab or in the foreign language program, on the athletic fields or in the art studios.

We credit the exposure to the new and varied curriculum presented by our local public school districts and private learning institutions for sparking the drive in many of our children to keep learning, to keep developing, to keep succeeding. Oftentimes, it’s during primary and secondary school that students forge connections with subjects that point toward their future professions.

Although today’s world seems more complex and convoluted than it did in generations past (likely the case no matter the period, as society and technology continually evolve), there remains an innate curiosity among younger generations to learn about the world around them and to experience life first hand. The fearlessness that so often comes with youth can be inspiring, but it can also be worrisome to parents and other loved ones. Yet it’s through encouraging that boundless enthusiasm, as so many of our wonderful teachers and other school staff do, that the thirst for knowledge may be quenched.

Educators have a gift of nurturing the desire to learn in their students, from primary to post-graduate education. We applaud those in academia who have figured out the secret of doing so successfully, for the impact a great educator can make on a student can last a lifetime. Seldom does one forget their favorite teacher or professor, regardless of age.

Amazing educators are able to help students expand their minds, their opportunities. It’s up to the students to further stretch their limits, ideally supported by a vast network of family and friends.

We sincerely hope our Harlem Valley students will take full advantage of the many wonderful classes and programs now available to them, whether athletic, theatrical or intellectual, and avail themselves of the teachers sharing their valuable insight.

We also want to take this moment to remind parents they have a role to play in their child’s success. It’s essential caretakers offer guidance and support whenever it’s sought, as such encouragement is key for children to reach and exceed their goals. Their young minds are just developing; they need both positive reinforcement and a strong foundation to build successful futures. That natural inquisitiveness can help a child succeed, from the first day of school to the last day of graduation. Let’s do our part to ensure that curiosity never dulls.

Students, please savor every moment as you rise from grade to grade. We realize what likely seems an endless journey for many of you will assuredly pass in the blink of an eye for most of your parents.

As the 2022-23 school year gets underway, we hope all lessons are approached with vigor and commitment, and that students realize school should always be a safe place to learn, to create and to thrive.

Thank you to all who participate in the educational process. We recognize the work involved in teaching future generations is daunting, but without you, there would be little light as we peer into the future.

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