In his October 2 address to the Sacramento County Board of Education, Sacramento County Office of Education Teacher of the Year 2002 Michael Bernardis called for the need for all to re-examine priorities and goals in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America.
"Care, concern, service—those are the keys to life. And they are the keys to life, even more, in this time of challenge for us all." The terrorist acts in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania took place 12 hours after the conclusion of the Teachers of the Year Recognition Banquet honoring Michael Bernardis and 13 other Teachers of the Year in Sacramento County.
At the Board meeting, Trustee Elinor L. Hickey joined Assistant Superintendent Robin Pierson in presenting Bernardis with an engraved plaque honoring him as Teacher of the Year 2002. Members of the Board of Education and County Superintendent of Schools Dr. David P. Meaney saluted Bernardis with a standing ovation.
Michael Bernardis included in his remarks a Mahatma Gandhi quote he had read at the September 10 Teachers of the Year Banquet. He prefaced the quote by saying, "Gandhi is speaking to us about the true meaning of service to others, and the true meaning of happiness. Listen. For these words apply to our calling to be teachers." Bernardis asked that we hear these words with "post-September 11th" ears:
"If we cultivate the habit of providing service to others, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and make not only for our happiness, but also for the happiness of the world at large."
Bernardis will be recognized with other Teachers of the Year Tuesday, 19 February, during halftime of the Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks NBA game at ARCO Arena. Information about purchasing discount-priced tickets to Sacramento Kings Teacher Night, presented annually by Maloof Sports and Entertainment, are available by calling (916) 928-8117.