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Guest Commentary: Together we can achieve remarkable things

By Gwynetta Gittens - | Jan 27, 2021

Gwynetta Gittens

Welcome to 2021!

This is a very important year — we will end COVID, end World Hunger, and “Ensure that All children reach their highest personal potential!” Now that I have your attention, I will explain. We pray and believe that the first two will come true, however we know that working together we CAN achieve the last one.

I am Gwynetta Gittens, Lee County School Board member, representing District 5, but working for the equity and inclusion of all children. 2021 is the third year of my four-year term in office. This is NOT a campaign speech, the half way mark is significant, but it is not the mountain top. I am constantly working to reach the goal of preparing all children for their highest potential. It is an uphill battle on a slippery slope sometimes and then along came COVID-19 and trust me, there will always be something that tries to throw us off of our goal.

Picture this: You are driving down SR 82 and you encounter an accident — a person’s foot is stuck under a vehicle and the only way they can get free is to lift the vehicle. You try on your own, but it’s impossible. You wave down others to “help!” First there is one then two, and before you know it so many people are around the vehicle there is no room for more. You instruct everyone “on three, we all lift and the others, gently get him out.” “one, two three…and just like that, together, the job is done safely and successfully!

Making sure “all of our children reach their highest personal potential” is our emergency on the side of the road, that is going to take everyone to get them out. COVID-19 has added heavy burdens on everyone, especially our children. The pandemic caused some educational challenges; however, it only magnified some issues that have existed for a long time. The achievement gap did not start with COVID but COVID accented the need to do more to fix it.

As I am sitting on the dais, waving for you to come and help, first you must understand what you have to do; the projects, issues, challenges. What do you know about: Proximity, the “New LAMS,” Veterans Park renovation, Gateway HS, SAC, PTO, The Innovation School, NN Elementary school, the new Estero K-8, the number of students in portables, the achievement levels one to four, the importance of reading and how you can help, how many children attend our schools, how the Half-Cent Tax is being spent, new administrators, the critical need for teachers and subs, East Lee Education Cooperative, etc., etc., etc. All these topics and more are critical to achieving our goal. Join us, offer your suggestions, your talents, your time, your donations, when needed, and your desire to see “All of our children achieve their highest personal potential!”

Feel free to contact me, Gwynetta Gittens: gwynettasg@leeschools.net 239-634-0164 and Thursday from 7-8 p.m. “Let’s Talk – Town Hall” https://www.facebook.com/eastleeeducationcooperative/

–Gwynetta Gittens, Lee County School Board member, District 5.