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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

To the 112 new teach­ers who will start teach­ing at county schools on Aug. 29. On Thurs­day, the teach­ers came to the Iron Master’s Man­sion in Perryville for a wel­come party hosted by the Busi­ness and Ed­u­ca­tion Part­ner­ship Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil (BEPAC) and a chance to stock up on some free school sup­plies. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ce­cil County Class­room Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and other or­ga­ni­za­tions were also on hand to greet the new teach­ers. The new teach­ers are a mix­ture of veteran ed­u­ca­tors and those teach­ing for the first time. Some are Ce­cil County na­tives, while oth­ers have come to the school sys­tem from across the country. Yasha Lezama-Hart, who will teach preschool at Thom­son Es­tates El­e­men­tary School, pre­vi­ously worked in the New York City school sys­tem, where she was only given a $75 stipend meant to cover a full year of school sup­plies for her class­room. “When you be­gin the school year, it can get a lit­tle hec­tic,” she said. “This makes it feel like some­one’s there to help you.” We agree and ap­plaud BEPAC, CCCTA and CCPS for wel­com­ing and sup­port­ing the new teach­ers and wish them luck with the up­com­ing school year.

To Op­er­a­tion Pur­ple Camp, which brought to­gether kids of mil­i­tary fam­i­lies for a week of fun ac­tiv­i­ties at NorthBay Ad­ven­ture Camp this week. The free camp, which is one of dozens held across the country ev­ery sum­mer, is spon­sored by the Na­tional Mil­i­tary Fam­i­lies As­so­ci­a­tion and dubbed Op­er­a­tion Pur­ple be­cause the color is a mix of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Ma­rine Corps red and Navy blue. NorthBay has been host­ing the camp for the past six sum­mers and is the only camp lo­ca­tion in Mary­land. Or­ga­niz­ers of the camp said the pro­gram helps the mil­i­tary kids con­nect with one an­other and re­al­ize that they’re not the only ones with a par­ent in the mil­i­tary. Ku­dos to NorthBay, Aberdeen Prov­ing Ground, the Na­tional Mil­i­tary Fam­i­lies As­so­ci­a­tion and ev­ery­one else in­volved with this camp.

To the news that state and lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions are com­ing to­gether in hopes of pre­vent­ing the Univer­sity of Mary­land Den­tal School clinic from clos­ing, po­ten­tially leav­ing many low-in­come county res­i­dents without lo­cal den­tal care. The nine-year-old fa­cil­ity on Route 40 in Perryville is cur­rently op­er­ated by the Univer­sity of Mary­land Den­tal School, with ser­vices pro­vided by its stu­dents. But the new plan calls for Union Hospi­tal to lease the build­ing, with West Ce­cil Health Cen­ter op­er­at­ing the pro­gram. Den­tal stu­dents would con­tinue to pro­vide the ser­vices. While ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tinue, Del. Kevin Horn­berger (R-Ce­cil) and State Sen. Steve Her­shey (R-Up­per Shore) have co­or­di­nated with Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s of­fice to keep the cen­ter funded un­til the new ar­range­ment is fi­nal­ized. We’re happy to see so many dif­fer­ent groups work­ing to­gether to save the fa­cil­ity and we hope they’re suc­cess­ful in keep­ing open for years to come.

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