Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood before an audience of over 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and shared his dream for a better nation. Dr. King stated: ."…we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
As a nation we have transformed our thinking and our beliefs since these words were presented to us. We have so many things to be proud of as a nation and we are a global model of democracy. Dr. King would certainly applaud our accomplishments as a nation. However, recent issues in our nation have reminded us that we are still in the midst of our journey. The “fierce urgency of now” has, once again, greeted us with a stern reminder to reflect, reexamine, rejuvenate, and to not befriend complacency.
As we begin the 2013-2014 school year we should take this opportunity to assess our individual roles to ensure that students’ success is the central focus of our efforts. With the growing demands of our nation and the global economy, it is critical to put forth consistent daily habits of excellence in our practice and our thinking. The development of our intellectual capital will be the greatest ammunition to empower our future leaders and entrepreneurs and concurrently eradicate some of our social ills.
An author once stated: “Success is a journey not a destination.” Let us continue on this journey with a fervent effort to achieve even greater heights.
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year.
Lennox H. Small, Ed.D.