By Guam Governor Eddie Calvo
Of my six children, my three babies are the ones left in middle and high school. My oldest, Eddie, graduated from college and now is working. Vinson and Rosae are still studying. It’s PJ, Melva and Celine now. I used to drive all of them to school every day, but it’s become more difficult to do that since becoming Governor.
I’m a parent, just like you. I know how many emotions we have when the first day of school comes around. When the kids are away at school, we leave their safety and health in the hands of their teachers and principals. I know this can weigh heavily on any mother or father, but they’re growing... and their teachers are helping them to grow.
Personally, what gets me through the day as I wait for my wife to tell me the kids are at home, is the excited phone call to tell me, ‘Dad, I got an A!’ or ‘Dad, they chose me for the team!’ They can tell me they had a hard day with a lot of work, or that they didn’t make the cut for the team, and I’d still be proud of them.
In these tough times of uncertainty and doubt in your government, I want you to know that we are committed to giving the first priority in funding to public schools. You know how it’s been the past few years. There’s always been a shortage of classrooms, supplies and technology to help your children. Education has never really been a funding priority. I’ve assured the Interim Superintendent that the cuts I am instituting throughout the government will not be forced on public schools. There is waste, though, and I’m sure DOE will find this waste and eliminate it. The point is, I know how important education is. I’m a father before I am anything else.
My wife has taken on a focused and special mission related to education. The great majority of Guam’s children are being cared for in loving homes. These homes are led by their biological mothers and fathers. But, there are some children who, for one reason or another, live in foster care or are in need of a foster family.
Christine has decided to dedicate her time as First Lady to helping foster children and foster families. These are men and women who care so deeply about children who come from a bad situation, they open their homes and their hearts to these children. It gets expensive, though. They provide the shelter over their heads, their food, their clothes and so much more.
This is why Christine and the Foster Families Association are providing vouchers for foster families to get school uniforms. Every bit of support will help. Every ounce of assistance lets these foster children know that people care... that they have a future that is important.
It’s important that as we traverse the often bumpy road of a government and an island trying to get back on track... that we don’t leave anyone behind. On this first day of school, I just wanted to send the message that we care deeply about the education of your children. Most importantly, we care about the future they will have... each and every one of them.
God bless you and your children, thank you and have a great day.
The above content reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the policies of the National Governors Association.