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Gratitude for our teachers

For three decades the National Parent Teacher Association has celebrated the beginning of May as Teacher Appreciation Week to honor the men and women who educate our children.

ExxonMobil understands that an educated and informed workforce starts with teachers. So as the nation observes Teacher Appreciation Week 2015, I wanted to note some of the ways our corporation translates that understanding into support for the teachers who are vital to our country’s future.

Among the many important programs and initiatives we support to aid teachers are the National Math and Science Initiative, America Achieves, Teach for All, and the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.

But it isn’t all about providing funding to worthy programs. Sometimes just saying thanks can make a difference, too.

We thought a good way to express our thanks this year was to put together a video that highlights the passion and enthusiasm the best teachers bring to their work. One of the teachers in the video sums it up simply when she states, “I don’t say in the morning, ‘I’m going to go to work.’ I say, ‘I get to go to school.’”

The fabled Roman statesman and orator Cicero (himself a teacher, by the way) once noted, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all others.”

So let’s all be especially virtuous this week and thank the teachers in our and our children’s lives on whom we rely for so much.

Suzanne McCarron is president of the ExxonMobil Foundation.

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