Today we celebrated community, we celebrated children, we celebrated public education and we honored the many gifted teachers and staff members who make our school district a very special place for learners and learning.
I am deeply humbled with the tremendous outpouring of support we all felt earlier today during our Portland Community Appreciation Car Parade. I am sincerely indebted to all of you who came out to greet us. The signs that people made and the hundreds who greeted us from every corner of the town made this day a very special and momentous event for all of us and for Portland.
I thank our faculty and staff members (over 100 cars) who came out today to greet their students in creatively decorated vehicles that radiated love and joy for their students. I thank our Police Captain, RON MILARDO, and his entire police department, especially officer PAUL LISEO, who handled this difficult task today with supreme professionalism and care. I thank BOB SHEA and the Portland Fire Department for their trucks and staff. I thank DAVE KUZMINSKI and KEVIN ARMSTRONG for filming this entire event from locations all over Portland, including the sky! I thank FIRST SELECTWOMAN BRANSFIELD for her enduring support for this event and our schools.
Finally, I give SPECIAL THANKS to Gildersleeve Principal, RYAN WALSTROM, transportation manager, DEBBIE JOHNSON, and parent, JEN WITSCHY who for many hours painstakingly planned this spectacular event. Truly, this would not have happened without the dedication of these three people.
We have experienced challenging times since mid March but today’s event brought a sparkle of light to everyone’s eyes.
Thank you Portland!