Take a break, you’ve earned it

Published 6:33 am Saturday, April 9, 2022

Spring break for Beaufort County Schools is just a week away. For students, teachers and administrators across the system, it will offer a much-needed break.
COVID-19 created unique challenges for everyone, everywhere, but it has been particularly taxing for public education.
There have been some bumps in the road, but for how they’ve handled the past couple of years, it’s appropriate to acknowledge our schools. And that starts at the top.
Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman’s leadership has set the pace. In a time when most were focused on just getting by, our schools kept their sights on getting better.
As head of the school system during COVID, Cheeseman was tested by one of the most difficult challenges his office has ever seen.
And even while navigating that storm, his positive impact on the system is clear. You can see it whenever he walks in to one of the district’s 14 schools. More importantly, you still see it after he walks out.
Cheeseman, named the 2021-2022 Region 1 Northeast Regional Education Service Alliance Superintendent of the Year, also earned his doctorate in February. He will graduate from ECU this spring, adding to a list of degrees and certificates he already holds.
And don’t forget the almost 1,000 staff members that make up the Beaufort County Schools team, particularly those that work directly with the districts 6,200 students. Those blessed with the patience, armed with the courage and inspired by the calling to spend their days working with kids ages 5-18 certainly deserve kudos.
As the father of students and the husband of a teacher in local schools, I know this first-hand.
The strength of a community is tied directly to its schools. And it’s good to see positive things coming from ours.
If you need a reminder, check out the students and staff highlighted in your newspaper or take a few minutes to listen to one of the regular podcasts by Ashley Padgett or Kristen Riddle at www.beaufort.k12.nc.us.

Ashley Vansant is publisher of the Washington Daily News. He can be reached at publisher@thewashingtondailynews.com.