Why do we become teachers? There are many explanations, probably beginning with a particular academic passion. For me, it was a love of history, starting with ancient Greece and Rome and then reinforced by travels through the eastern Mediterranean. As I stood before the Lion’s Gate of Mycenae, trekked the Sacred Way at Delphi, or knelt before Athen’s Parthenon, the Muses inspired me. I had to share the vision.

That was forty-four years ago. However, the focus soon changed upon discovering that I could positively impact my students’ lives. This realization became the rationale for doing what I do.

Today, I believe that Franklin Academy offers an opportunity second to none to transform lives. Our students have such incredible “upside potential.” They are bright, creative, and kind. Each possesses an innate sense of right and wrong. And, they want what everyone wants: to belong, to grow, and to succeed. I also cherish the opportunity to partner with our parents. Here is an email I recently received.

I wanted to take a moment to tell you how happy we are that we made the decision to send our son to Franklin Academy. When we learned about Franklin, we thought it was too good to be true. But it appears that we did indeed find the needle in the haystack for our son. In a short time, your team has figured our teenager out and has allowed him to start to embody the great kid he is. In all of his years of education, no one has really seen his potential like you all have. Talking to him via FaceTime has been a true joy for us. We are seeing him opening up and engaging more. He has begun to excel academically in a way he never knew he could. Seeing the pride on his face is probably as touching as when we saw his first smile as an infant.

So, let us fast-forward to the best part of an educator’s career.

All of us experience a powerful emotional crescendo every year at graduation. What inspiring moments as we hear the faculty and senior speeches, witness the presentation of academic awards, and watch as a procession of young men and women receive their diplomas. We cry tears of joy, and hearts overflow with pride. Then, there is often separation and silence until that unpredictable moment when alumni come back into our lives to say: “Because of Franklin Academy, I am happy and thriving as I pursue my dreams.” Knowing that our school forges a future filled with promise and opportunity inspires me to continue doing what I do as we navigate together this uncertain time.