Gordon’s passion inspires

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, October 24, 2019

To the editor:

Thoughts on the article by Jimmy LaRoue, “New superintendent outlines vision” published on Oct. 17.

It was refreshing to see the outreach and Dr. John B. Gordon’s passion by hitting the ground running here in Suffolk! As a stay at home mom of five children who attend or have attended Suffolk Public Schools, I am grateful for all the hard work from the faculty and staff. Welcome to Suffolk, Dr. Gordon. We are glad you are here!

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Mentioned in the article are a branding and marketing plan. I have two suggestions for the plan: Adequately fund and stock our teacher’s classrooms and provide our teachers competitive salary on par with other area cities.

In a recent meeting with one of my kid’s teachers, I asked the teacher if she had everything she needed for her classroom. She said, “Yes, because my family did a supply donation drive.” On Aug. 28, the Suffolk News-Herald published an article, “Suffolk teachers get help to clear their lists.” It saddens me our teachers have to resort to soliciting friends, family and social media to get the supplies needed to teach our children!

It is incredible the community comes together and helps, but “fully funded classrooms” might help the Suffolk brand as well. Also, the Virginia Department of Education “Teacher Salary Report” typically shows Suffolk teachers’ pay lags behind other Tidewater cities. Although there was an increase in the 2019 school budget for teacher cost of living adjustments, I suspect Suffolk will still lag other area cites in teacher compensation.

I sincerely hope Dr. Gordon’s leadership and fresh outlook can continue to inspire and improve the quality of education for students in Suffolk to ensure they excel in our competitive society.

Katrina Cosendine