EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a weekly column from Hamilton Heights Superintendent Dr. Derek Arrowood. All Hamilton County school superintendents are invited to send The Times similar routine messages. To do so, please contact our publisher at ttimmons@thetimes24-7.com

While we have been fortunate to have had our buildings open and students in class a good portion of this school year, we are hopeful that the shift this week will be the last for the 2020-21 school year. We are on the final stretch of a challenging, yet incredible year that was nothing less than transformative in many aspects of our lives.
One of the most impactful changes brought about by the pandemic has been a greater appreciation for our teachers' skill, patience, flexibility and creativity. With National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7) coming up, I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate the pivotal role our educators play in our children’s lives—inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success even under the most stressful, and at times, difficult and fluid conditions.
Our teachers are true superheroes who found new ways to continue meaningful education with virtual classrooms, at home learning lessons and the resiliency to rise to the moment of this year at every turn. Their immense commitment and dedication to their students is moving beyond words. Please take this opportunity to honor and thank our local educators and show them how important they are to our students and community.
The pandemic also highlighted the importance of reliable connectivity in our daily lives – for schoolwork and working from home, to operating a business, and staying connected to friends, family and the world around us. This was not lost on Hamilton County, which has created a Broadband Task Force to explore and identify broadband connectivity issues within our county. Public input is needed to help with the effort which is being led by the Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation. To kindly take a moment to fill out the short survey go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HamCoBroadband. To read the press release about this effort, go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ymvk-Pe-IEK7hbicFaJlKAN2wbsFmX-g/view. Thank you in advance for your time and input.
Save the date! The Hamilton Heights Educational Foundation’s 32nd Annual Golf Outing is set for Thursday, June 10 at Bear Slide Golf Course. Join friends, neighbors, and colleagues for a day of fun and networking on the green to support this incredible organization that has been supporting student achievement at Heights for over three decades. To register to attend, be a sponsor, or for more information go to: https://app.eventcaddy.com/events/hamilton-heights-educational-foundation-32nd-annual-golf-outing.
Congratulations to the Hamilton Heights Middle School Robotics program which had four student teams qualify for this year’s VEX Robotics World Championship. The tournament, which will be conducted virtually in mid-May, will place teams from around the world in timed robotics competition matches with their custom-built robots. In a typical year, the annual VEX Robotics World Championship attracts more than 30,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 70 nations.
I am proud of the work we’ve collectively done this year to give our students every opportunity to succeed. We hope the return at the middle school and high school to four days a week of in-person instruction lessens the strains caused from teaching virtual and in-person students simultaneously. We appreciate the trust, support, and patience you’ve shown us this year. #WeAreHuskies

Dr. Derek Arrowood is Superintendent at Hamilton Heights School Corporation