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Throughout our lives we're being told that there are some things money can't buy, and as a teacher in this district for almost 20 years I can assure you that my colleagues and I choose to provide much more than our contracts read for the children in Port's schools. This degree of dedication, this sense of care and our undivided loyalty is what sets us apart from other districts; it's the reason for the excellence people speak to when referring to the education children receive here in Port. And the beauty of it all? It's because Port's teachers take pride in not just what we do, but also how we do it. It can't possibly be news to any of you that the teachers in this district go the extra mile. Therefore, everyone benefits. These teachers experience a tremendous amount of satisfaction from their professional lives. Is that an OK thing? Is it a good thing? Or is Port extremely fortunate because it's an excellent thing? Well, when people use their power to produce the outstanding reputation Port's schools have developed and maintained, isn't it the board's responsibility in turn to use its power to recognize that and ensure its worthiness.

The first day of school was a bad beginning. On opening day Port's teachers felt betrayed and disrespected. All kinds of words expressing anger, frustration and belittlement were felt. They fear that their professional kindness and decency are being mistaken for weakness. Emotions ran high as our leadership indicated that fairness and adequate consideration on behalf of Port's teachers is not even close to an equitable contract. We were so hopeful that this year would begin differently from last year. Chipping away at our good faith could have detrimental results. I can only hope the BOE will reconsider its position.

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