RESOLUTION: To provide a more nurturing, safe environment for our kids.

It's been said that you can't improve the future without looking at the past. The political bickering, discussions of the fiscal cliff and the latest reality TV dramas all fade to the background after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have a middle school aged daughter who texted her friend asking if she heard about the shooting, and the response was, "Which one?" Unfortunately, shootings have become all too common; whether across the country in a theater, in Connecticut in a school, or here in Delaware on a soccer field. The issue of violence is on all of our minds as we think about resolutions for the New Year.

The usual resolutions about losing a few pounds (or maybe more than a few), exercising more, or eating better just don't seem relevant. This year we must all resolve to provide a more nurturing, safe environment for our kids. Disraeli said, "The future of society rests upon the shoulders of education." The future of society rests on more than just traditional education. Instead it rests on all of us. We must commit to ensuring that our children have a safer, more suitable environment to grow. Each of us can find a way to contribute to the future of society through kids.

As I work with Red Clay School District's major capital improvement projects including the construction of a new elementary school, I resolve to make our buildings more than just a safe place for staff and students to address the academic program. Our public schools must be a beacon for the community – bustling with activities for kids both during the day and after hours. Schools can and must be a central piece of our community. We can't be satisfied with just the outstanding academics that our schools provide. Our community should also be proud of the uniting force that our schools can become.

As I resolve to work on school construction projects that are on-time, under-budget and something the community can be proud of, I challenge those in the community to work with us. Resolve to be involved in programs that support kids, and look to your local schools as places that welcome your help.