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  Editor's Note
     
   

We were in Bolton, Mass., standing in the brightly lit hallway of the Florence Sawyer School. Molly Fang and I had arrived a little early for our photo session with Mallory Macdonald '99, the young woman gracing the cover of our education issue. The Florence Sawyer School is an impressive institution. Only three years old, it's still gleaming. The classrooms feel fresh and vibrant. We spotted glowing banks of computers, science labs, colorful art projects. And even though it was the end of the day, every teacher we met appeared energetic and good-humored.  

As I wandered into an empty classroom, its walls covered with Harry Potter posters and displays of the periodic table, I couldn't help but think back to my own grammar school, where chalk was a precious commodity and where we spent the last week of school each June erasing any pencil marks in the texts that would be handed down to the next grade. But despite advances in both resources and theory, there is one element that seems to remain a constant in education-the teacher. 

In this issue you'll meet a selection of alumni educators, from those just starting out to those nearing retirement. They teach in private and public schools, in the inner city and the suburbs. They've had professional experiences both joyful and sad, encouraging and disheartening. And if we gathered them together in a room, we might well hear a fascinating debate on what's right and wrong about education in America. But at the end of the day, what unifies this group is a commitment to helping young people learn. And, according to their own testimony, the place they learned that commitment was Holy Cross. 

In the midst of necessary discussions about standardized testing and teachers' salaries, charter schools and vouchers, core curriculums and school violence, it's easy to lose track of what's most important-that moment where student and teacher intersect, and knowledge is conveyed. As you'll read in the pages that follow, some extraordinary Holy Cross alumni are involved in creating that moment, year after year. It's something we can all be thankful for.

 

Jack O’Connell ’81

 

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