In her May 6 letter, Lois Jarman rightly praises public school teachers for their resourcefulness and dedication in wrestling with the challenges posed by the pandemic. The success of a school system obviously depends on the teachers, as she highlights by citing a UNESCO study of Finnish schools, which are highly regarded.

Ms. Jarman then, out of the blue, dismisses independent schools — the Finns "don't need or want them." In a letter about teacher appreciation, this comment is odd, at least. Aren’t teachers in independent schools driven by the same passion? Haven’t they also grappled with teaching during a pandemic? Haven’t their students’ lives also been changed by a great teacher?

I don't know how diverse Finland is or how it's trending, but Frederick County is very diverse and getting more so. The independent schools in Frederick County ensure that students in all different communities can benefit from dedicated and passionate teachers.

I would like to invite Ms Jarman for a tour of Friends Meeting School to meet faculty and students in person and see how independent schools have addressed the problems all schools face.

Steve Pippin is clerk of the board of Friends Meeting School in Ijamsville

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