MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – As schools open their doors to Mount Vernon students following summer vacation this week, hope has sprung anew in the city as the district enters its second year under Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton.
Schools weren’t open to students until Wednesday, but Hamilton was joined by government officials and the school district staff last week for a Superintendent’s Convocation featuring a motivational keynote address from childhood literacy expert Phyllis C. Hunter.
During a lengthy speech, Hamilton continued to stress that education isn’t something that can stop in the classroom if Mount Vernon children are expected to succeed, noting the need for parents to step in and relieve some of the burden on parents.
“We are communicative educators,” he said. “One of the things we know about children, one of the things we know is that there has to be a connection between home and school.”
Despite several down years recently, spirits remained high during several speeches, with Hamilton painting a picture of a bright future as they continue trying to improve the district. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino – whose mother was in the first graduating class from Mount Vernon High School – made a surprise speech, citing the difficulty teachers face in a changing educational landscape.
“Obviously this is a place where kids can grow, succeed and sometimes fail, but (teachers) are going to help them get where they’re going,” he said. “It’s not easy, and it was never easy to be a teacher – there are so many materials, so many tests and so many pressures coming from teachers and parents fro every angle; but it’s here that our students get our footing in life, and they’re in good hands.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.