At a schoolhouse in Weirton, West Virginia, Mrs. Tucci was my window on the world. She opened my eyes to new places and new ideas. She gave me the educational foundation for my life. That schoolhouse is where I learned to read. To do math. To think. And to imagine. It’s where I earned my chance at the American Dream.
Fast forward a few years and my love of education and desire to be of service to others led me to teach public school. For three years I taught sixth grade in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. It was just after Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination; the Shaw neighborhood had been devastated by the riots that followed. Teaching gave me the chance to be the “window” for some bright-eyed children, sharing lessons about the world they might not otherwise have had.
Public education is the cornerstone of all we hold dear in America. It gives every boy and girl the chance to be what they want to be. Quality public education depends on our teachers. Every student deserves a Mrs. Tucci in their life.
We must attract dedicated teachers. That means treating them like professionals, including paying them wages that are fair.
I have been a student. I have been a teacher. You can always count on me to be on the side of education when it counts.