Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Excellence in Education
May 24, 2000

Thank you, for those thoughtful words.

I'm proud to be here. Days like today are the days I'm proudest to be governor. We all know that nothing is more important than what our children learn in school. Because school is where they gain their understanding of the world and their place in it, for better or for worse, and it's the people right here in this room who are making sure that world is for the better. As Nha Nguyen, one of our award winners, says, "the best gift you can give children is an education."

The Excellence in Education award is one of the most prestigious awards in our state. I was reading through some of the nominations the other night, and over and over I was struck by one thing. Although it's really nice that you are being honored in this way today, all of you receive awards everyday when a child says, "Hey, I get it!" or, "Gee, this is fun," when you see that light bulb go off in a child's brain, when you know you've made a difference in a child's life.

I want to echo Cheryl's hearty thanks to members of our Legislature for your constant and relentless support of our schools. And I also want to thank all of the people who nominated today's award winners. It's one thing to do a good job, but it's another thing to have the people you work with recognize what a good job you do. So thank you all, too.

I'm going to hand the floor over to Terry in just a second, but first let me show you something. See this here? This is Emily and this is Dylan. These are my kids. Emily will be starting school in just two years. And I can tell by the caliber of quality in this room that both she and Dylan will be in good hands.

So I want to thank all of you not just as a governor, but also as a father. Congratulations on your recognition for outstanding dedication to the education of our children.

Thank you very much.
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