The Kids Are Alright in This Community
While the national media seem fixated on what ails this country, we’d rather point to some uplifting local examples of what’s right about our Republic.
The recently concluded Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl, which brings together the area’s brightest middle-school minds, is one such event.
While this newspaper and other media outlets have chronicled the exploits of our student athletes, the same can’t be said about our schools’ academic standouts.
It’s only recently that we have given them the recognition they deserve.
That’s what this regional test of intelligence has accomplished over the last several years.
From strictly an intramural exercise among Lowell’s middle schools, this event has grown to include five of the city’s suburban neighbors, which lends an athletic atmosphere to this academic competition. The students also sit at tables adorned with banners displaying their school name and colors.
This year’s two-night test was held inside the Tyngsboro High School Auditorium, providing a home-field feeling for last year’s champions, Tyngsboro Middle School, who, along with Dracut and Billerica middle schools, were eliminated in the semifinal round held on Monday night.
That set up Tuesday’s final round, which featured middle-school teams from Lowell, Tewksbury and Chelmsford.
And it was Lowell, which fielded a combined squad of students from its top three middle-school teams, that took home the title for the first time since 2015 - a testament to the competitive nature of this event.
In all, it was another exciting night for the competitors, their teacher coaches, and all the parents, relatives and friends that cheered them on.
Another reflection of the outstanding work in our schools occurred recently in Fitchburg, where the high school hosted a Future Teacher Signing Day.
The event honored 16 graduating seniors who have chosen to pursue a career in education as they enter college in the fall.
These students all signed letters of intent to follow that career path, just like student athletes do when announcing their college choice.
This new initiative, which also aims to allow others to see teaching as a valuable career worthy of celebration, is supported by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
An obviously proud Fitchburg High School Principal Jeremy Roche observed that a teacher’s influence can last a lifetime.
“Our weekly quote from Henry Adams noted that a teacher’s influence spans an eternity, but I also think of it as a farmer of the mind and spirit. They sow seeds that they often don’t see fully take root, but blossom for years and years to come,” Roche told those in attendance.
And certainly, the decision of these students amounts to an enthusiastic endorsement of the educators who helped shape their career path.
The extraordinary ability of those Knowledge Bowl teams and the admirable degree of commitment shown by these 16 FHS seniors should make all of us a little more hopeful about the future our country.