As yet another school year comes to an end, students rejoice at the thought of an endless summer, free from the countless tests and grade-plummeting projects. The dread of waking up before 6:30 every morning and rushing out to the bus stop becomes a fading memory for a mere two months. Now, students stand tall and prideful without a bag of bricks upon their backs and a constant look of concern on their faces. While many students grabbed their bags and sprinted out without looking back, their legacy continues on with the teachers who they spent the last eight months with.

Although I was lucky enough to attend one of the high achieving schools in Dekalb County, the year was jarred with rough turmoil. During the first few months of winter, pipes along hallways burst, spilling horrid smells across the school campus. Then, multiple lock downs and social media threats scattered throughout the spring semester instilled an ever-present fear among students, parents and teachers.

Then, in protest, two national wide walkouts organized by a multitude of school councils left administrators clawing with frustration. Finally, as exam season rolled around, school schedules were constantly disrupted, leaving some teachers rushing through their last units. Nonetheless, these teachers persevered through the chaos and emerged seemingly satisfied.

This was not the case, unfortunately, with my teachers. Out of my seven teachers, four had plans to leave in the following two years, and this became quite upsetting.

All four were renowned teachers at the school, earning mutual respect from students across the board and equally prestigious awards. Unlike others, these educators taught with passion and dedication, grading endless assignments with thorough comments and insightful advice. They strove to help students excel, often staying after school to assist those in need. Not only did they use reasonable strategies academically, they also maintained strong connections to all those around them.

Thus, Dekalb owes you an apology.

We're sorry that you were not satisfied with your treatment by the administration, from salaries to school-wide organization.

We're truly sorry that the programs at Dekalb have not yet reached international recognition even though you put in your best efforts day and night.

We're sorry that your favorite class was removed from the course roster without warning.

We're sorry that your suggestions were ignored and your voice neglected in the community during times of need.

We're sorry that the student-teacher ratios were so vitiated that in some periods, you had a class of empty seats and others overflowing with students.

And most of all, we're sorry that Dekalb didn't live up to your expectations.

Thank you for endless contributions, and I wish you best wishes to your future endeavors, no matter where you go. Your presence in this community has been invaluable.