The following public remarks were made on July 27 by Harford County Board of Education Member Don Osman to mark the conclusion of his term on the school board. Mr. Osman provided a copy of his remarks to The Dagger for publication:
As most of you are aware, tonight is my last meeting as a Board member. I would like to take this time to thank the Board members for their encouragement and support during the past two years. Other individuals that I would like to thank are:
– Governor Martin O’Malley for having the confidence in me to appoint me to the Board and the members of local and state government who supported my nomination.
– Members of Central Staff
– The administration, faculty, staff and students from the various schools throughout the county who made me feel welcome when I visited
– The parents, teachers and other citizens who contacted me to express their support and concerns
– Councilman Richard Slutzky and the other members of County Council who met monthly with Dr. Wheeler and me in a very successful effort to improve communication between the Board and the County Council
– And to three very special ladies – Lynn Sweat, Netha Wilmoth and Teri Schmid who did their best to keep me abreast of emails, ordered my meal on nights of meetings and in Teri’s case, provided cookies on special occasions
The past two years have been the most challenging in my 46 years in the education field. The yearly budget process, county-wide elementary school redistricting and other issues have helped me gain an appreciation of the responsibilities of the Board that I did not possess as a classroom teacher. I have struggled with many of the decisions I have had to make knowing that they will affect the lives of children for many years to come.
It truly has been an honor to serve the residents of Harford County as a Board member. The position provided opportunities to visit schools and talk with administrators, teachers, other staff members, parents and most importantly, students.
I wish the new Board members who will be occupying these seats beginning July 11, and those of you who will be continuing your service the best in the upcoming years.
My parting thoughts are that the Board and Superintendent work together to continue to provide the students of our county with the opportunity to enjoy the highest quality educational experience. To ensure that experience, I hope you will empower those in charge at the various levels with the opportunity to use their talents to do the job for which they were hired, that you will maintain your focus on the success of students and teachers in the classroom, that you will show compassion for those involved in the educational process, and finally, that you will continue to foster an environment in our schools that allows students and teachers to be actively involved in daily learning activities that are challenging, meaningful, creative, memorable and fun.