A genuine sacrifice
Our county currently has the fourth-best high school graduation rate among our "peers" – the state’s largest 11 counties. Not bad, but not great.
But speaking of high school graduation rates, here's one feature of which we’re particularly proud.
Each year the County Superintendent of Schools and the County Board of Education have the privilege to present high school diplomas to veterans who were unable to complete high school due to military service in World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.
Since 2007, more than 230 veterans in our county have received diplomas in this annual ceremony we call Operation Recognition. We were honored to have one of those vets join us again at this year's State of Education event: Mr. Jack Sims of Riverside.
For the record, Jack Sims would have graduated from Riverside Poly High School in 1950. But the Korean War came along, and he left school early join the U.S. Navy. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and United Nations Service Medal. But it wasn't until 60 years later that he was awarded his high school diploma, with our Riverside County Class of 2010.
Jack Sims is typical of the vets we meet at Operation Recognition. Having sacrificed his own education to serve his country, he ardently advocates education to today's young generation. In our book, that counts as one more part of Jack Sims's valuable service record.
Kenneth M. Young delivers the 2012 State of Education Address.
Our most effective program for preparing our students for college success is under state budget threat. We need more AVID schools, not fewer.
How important is education? Just ask those who sacrificed their own education to serve their country.
'It's My School'
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