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Everyone has a story to share about Sept. 11, 2001. Most people can remember precisely where they were when they heard a plane had struck the first of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Those same people can also remember the moment they realized it wasn’t simply a plane mishap. As TV screens showed a plane strike the second twin tower, we knew immediately the U.S. was under attack.

I have been in the educational world for a long time. My professional years number 44, and, if you count the years as a student, tack on another 20. I have seen many styles of teaching and many paths to learning

It’s been a tough year for everyone. We have been forced to live with the unimaginable amid the COVID-19 pandemic and learned how to help one another in ways we never thought possible. As students return to classrooms across the state, we all need to do our part to ensure the stability of their mental health.

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Horrific stories came out of Afghanistan in the past couple of weeks as U.S. forces worked to withdraw from a country where they had been at war for 20 years. On Aug. 23, pictures taken at the airport in Kabul showed people desperate to flee Taliban rule falling to their deaths as they clung to aircraft departing the country. The week before, hundreds of thousands were displaced as provincial capitals all over Afghanistan fell to Taliban troops.