Back-to-School Editorial from Mayor Barnett

The following is a back-to-school editorial from Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett.

Back to School is an exciting time for kids and parents all around the country and here in Rochester Hills that excitement is tangible. Facebook is full of pictures of front doors, smiling faces, and cute new outfits. The roads are a bit more congested with the addition of big yellow buses and alarm clocks have been put back into use after taking a summer off.

Yes, it’s back to school time in our community and for most parents and students, it’s a welcomed change. As the parent of a 4th and 5th grader this year, I feel like a bit of an expert at this back to school thing, while also lamenting the fact that our babies can actually be this old. Based on social media, it is clear that I am not alone in this feeling. photo

Heading back to school is really an emotional roller coaster for most parents and students. For students, the excitement of seeing friends again is often mixed with the anxiety of a new teacher and the challenge of more difficult studies.  For parents, the excitement of seeing their children learn and grow is coupled with an inherent concern for their safety.

For a community, it’s a bit different. As a community we are excited that so many young minds are being filled with new ideas. We are excited that their imaginations are being challenged and solid problem solving skills are being imparted. We are excited that young men and women in both the Rochester and Avondale Community Schools, and in private schools across our city, are being taught the importance of character, integrity, and positively contributing to society.

Our challenge rests in making sure we are working hard to create an environment to have good, sustainable, high-wage jobs available and to have the quality of life amenities that will keep our next generation here in Oakland County. It’s a job we take seriously here in Rochester Hills and our lesson plans each week are focused completely on that goal.

Yes, heading back to school is an exciting time for many. We thank the parents, teachers, bus drivers, and administrators, who are all working hard to prepare our kids for the future. And you have our commitment that we are working just as hard to prepare the community for those kids. Because, as C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far, better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Welcome Back Students!

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at

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