One hundred years ago, at the 1921 Representative Assembly for the National Education Association, the call was first made for a week each year to celebrate our system of education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: “An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”

We celebrate that week – American Education Week – every year since then on the week before Thanksgiving. This year’s American Education Week is observed from Monday, Nov. 15, through Friday, Nov. 19. So we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you, for the important role you play in our educational system.

As the presidents of the Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks Education Associations, we have the honor and distinct privilege to express the appreciation of all our members – including K-12 teachers, librarians, paraeducators and teachers’ aides, bus drivers, administrative assistants, custodians and all school support personnel – for trusting us daily with the people you love more than anything in this world, your kids!

The greatest rewards of our profession are those moments we share with your children every day in the classroom. The smiles that appear on students’ faces, tiny flashes of excitement, pride and accomplishment, when they first figure out the solution to a difficult math problem, when they’ve finally finished the science project they’ve worked so hard on all semester or they drew a picture of their whole family that they can’t wait to show you at parent-teacher conferences.

Thank you for sharing your children and these special moments with us, for the past 100 years and all the years yet to come.

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Brooke Kopp, Bismarck; Kim Belgarde, Fargo; Melissa Bucchop, Grand Forks