Posted on: Tue, 01/22/2019 - 21:00

As our nation celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I encourage everyone to read some of his speeches and inspirational quotes. His messages are still relevant today.

photo of student receiving award
A student receives her King Award
from Dr. Alban​​​​

For 29 years, Frederick County Public Schools has honored students who demonstrate exceptional character as part of our Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Each school in the county chose one King Award winner who speaks to the values Dr. King exemplified. Those students proudly represent not only their own achievements, but they also proudly represent the ideals for character and citizenship that each of our schools values. The annual celebration at which all of our King Award winners gather is one of my favorite celebrations of the year because it reminds everyone that we value the way students treat others.

The theme for this year’s celebration was Courage Beyond Words. With words flowing steadily and often cruelly on social media, it was important to recognize students whose actions speak louder than words. These students do what is right, thereby demonstrating the definition of courage as defined by Dr. King:  

"Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right."

I am proud of our students recognized at our Martin Luther King Jr. celebration because they do what is right! They serve as role models for their peers but also for adults.  Let us hope that in a time when so many things divide us, our students will continue to do what is right and inspire others to have the courage to do the same!

Please take a moment to give a shout out to our King Award winners and to all our students who consistently demonstrate outstanding character and citizenship! Please share with me on Twitter @FCPSMDSuper. And if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

photo of students receiving awards
There were so many great moments at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. One of the most inspiring was an unplanned moment during the ceremony that reflected the character of the students honored. When one student was unable to step up onto the riser to join the group, all of the students on the risers stepped down to join him!