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I consider myself to be a very fortunate person, having been brought up in Port Washington. I was educated in Port schools and was most thrilled to be hired to teach here when positions were very scarce. I have spent my entire career in the elementary schools teaching various grade levels in all the buildings, but with a common theme throughout. I love the children I teach, the colleagues with whom I work and the challenges and joys of educating young children.

My husband, also a teacher, and I decided that we wanted our two sons to be educated in Port schools and very well educated they were. Our older son, Jason, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in May. He recently noted that he'd had many wonderful teachers in Port and that they'd enabled him to be so well prepared for college. Jason's plans for the future include teaching at the secondary or college level.

Jared, our younger son, attends Springfield College. He started planning his future in fourth grade and he wants to teach, too. Exceptional Port Washington teachers Joe DelGais, Robin Aufses and Bobby Baker are his role models. What higher compliment can one pay?

Some of my friends and even colleagues are surprised that my husband and I are thrilled and encouraging both of our children to go into education. We know that it's a difficult time to enter the field. There are many who are negative and critical. But I am confident that good and caring people will continue to become teachers. Good and caring parents will continue to recognize the excellent education afforded their children in Port and want it to continue. I am equally confident that the people of Port Washington will speak to their friends, their neighbors and their school board members demanding the quality of education that our children deserve and receive in Port Washington and asking that the teachers and substitutes get equitable contracts through which they can continue their excellent work.

Barbara L. Mayer

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