PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” These words of George Washington are also the epigraph of David McCullough’s collection of essays, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For. McCullough has been the biographer of Presidents, and is perhaps best known for 1776, a narrative describing the history of leadership at the start of the Revolutionary War and the evolution of the Declaration of Independence. As we celebrate Presidents’ Day, we think a great deal about leadership and how Washington and Lincoln remain icons of our national vision and dream. They were transformational leaders without whom we could not have achieved our democracy and our deepest principles of human dignity that continue to expand and build in strength and purpose as we continue to struggle to define our national purpose and beliefs. The spirit of 1776 and the perseverance of our first leaders ignited a passion for freedom of thought that has evolved as our vision of respect for human rights and dignity has evolved to include all of humanity. That change in understanding and perception has been part of a struggle that we continue to encounter and address. We can celebrate our quest to be open to diversity of thought and to be welcoming of differences that we may not understand and seek to know. We can also seek to share kindness universally as the way forward to a more perfect union. Our daily Pledge of Allegiance to our nation imbues us with both the perseverance and spirit that Washington and Lincoln represented. Both experienced personal suffering and took on the burden of leadership that included responsibility for deaths of thousands so that our national dream could be fulfilled. We can take small steps as active and educated citizens to ensure that the American spirit of “liberty and justice for all” remains alive and that our democracy flourishes. Schools exist to ensure that all students have the knowledge and skills to take those steps throughout their lives. Their development as readers, speakers, writers and thinkers contribute to their ability to advocate, create, research and analyze in order to participate fully, and persevere with spirit in shaping the always evolving American story.

Enjoy the long weekend. We look forward to seeing our students and staff back in our buildings on Wednesday, February 21.


Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools