Thank you Dr. King

I sent this email to the families at the school where I am Principal this afternoon and thought I would share here as well:

Good afternoon,
As we pause today to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I cannot help but be struck by how far we have come as a nation and as a people in the past 60 years. It is astonishing to me that it was only 58 years ago (1954) that the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Bd. of Education that the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place in the sphere of public education. Society takes time to catch up with legislation as is clear by the fact that nine years later, in 1963, Dr. King gave his seminal “I Have a Dream” speech. Visiting classrooms last week, I was able to participate in many lessons focused on Dr. King and his legacy. We are fortunate to be educators, parents and guardians in 2012 where we have the responsibility to teach our children the values of peace, equality and inclusion.
If you are interested in exploring Dr. King’s legacy further with your child(ren) I encourage you to visit Wonderopolis – a website sponsored by the National Center for Family Literacy. Today’s “Wonder of the Day” is “What is a civil right?” There is a powerful, short video and some extension activities in which you may be interested.
Michael Jackson’s lyrics in the background of the video are so fitting: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make the change.” I think Dr. King would agree that this is a powerful message for us to share with our children who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Have a safe and enjoyable week,
Julie A. Vincentsen
Helen Keller Elementary School
“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children.” John Dewey

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heike Imler
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 16:17:10

    What a wonderful message to send to your families! I am so glad that you also took the opportunity to share your timely message with this online audience. Kudos to you for your efforts in supporting family engagement and encouraging families to visit Wonderopolis.


  2. Jessica Scarpa (@J_Scarpa35)
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 22:06:25

    Hi! I’m Jessica Scarpa and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I will be posting a summary of what I have said on your blog on my blog on February 12, 2012. The EDM310 class blog URL is My personal blog URL is

    I really enjoyed reading and watching the video you posted about Dr. King. I can not imagine what life was like segregated. As long as I have been alive, I have always had black peers and friends. I can not imagine not being friends and not hanging out with them. I think that Dr. King was such a huge influence, and that he inspired a lot of people to stand up and do the right thing.


  3. Ashley Modozie
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 03:46:04

    My name is Ashley Modozie and I’m a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 course at the University of South Alabama.

    I think this email was a great message to send to the parents! We are extremely fortunate to live in a society that is striving for progression of all things. I feel that as adults, we do have an important role to carry out. We have a huge impact on the lives of our children. We need to fully accept our role and continue to be positive examples for our children. Thank you for reminding us of our responsibilities!

    I enjoyed reading your post! I will be summarizing my posts to your blog and posting the summaries on my own class blog sometime in the next week or two.


  4. Courtney Muse
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 18:51:53

    Thank you Primcipal Vincentsen

    Many people do not realize the importance of Dr. King’s life and legacy. Many take MLK day very lightly and see it as an excuss to stay home. Not seeing it as a day to reflect on Dr. King’s accomplishments and what he has done for this nation. Yet, there are many that are still living in the dreadful past of inequality; but, we have come so far as you stated. It is ironic that I was assigned to this blog. On MLK day, I was watching random videos on Youtube about Dr. King. I ran into a video where a black, young teen posted a video of himself being so-called racially profile and brutalize by a tactical unit. He was stopped for a routine stop on suspension. Mind you the officers were of all When the unit approached him, the first words he uttered was “It is Martin Luther King day!” In other words, ya’ll are just stopping me because Im black. It was so sad to see that this person failed to realize Dr. King did not just fight for blacks. He fought for equality for all man kind. He fought men, women, and children of ALL races. I just want to thank you for sharing the real reason with others and most of all to your students.

    I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. If you ever have time, stop by my blog. I’ll be glad to hear from you!


  5. Jessica La Force
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 13:19:36

    Hi, I’m Jessica La Force in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I previously commented on another of your post, and I’m back for my second post. As I said I’ll be summarizing these today, 11/11/12 on my personal blog. This was a wonderful post and even better video. We should all always remember how far we have come as a country, and the sacrifices people made to get us here. I loved this post, because it truly touched me where most of the ones I read do not, at least not to this extent. Dr. King was an inspiring individual, and thank you for reminding us of that.


  6. Gwendolyn Mullinax
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 14:17:01

    Hi, I am also a student of EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Your words are truly inspirational and I am so glad you shared them with us. The video sent chills through my body. I am so proud to be apart of a country that has kept moving forward!
    Gwendolyn Mullinax


  7. Daniel LoVette
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 12:23:12

    Principal Vincentsen,
    As those before me, I am also a student of EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Your blog and video were great. I too am astonished at how far we have come as a nation in the past 60 years in civil rights. I have never compared the lyrics of Man In the Mirror to Dr. Kings beliefs, but they are well qualified. “if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make the change.” This is a great message to our youth when bringing up “leaders of tomorrow.” Thank you for your post!


  8. chelsea
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 22:00:50

    My name is Chelsea Hadley. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. This email is so touching and inspiring! I really enjoyed reading your post!


  9. Cortnee Meyers
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:50:41

    Hello Principal Vincentsen,
    My name is Cortnee Meyers. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I would just like to start with a simple thank you. Thank you for such a wonderful post. I wish more people were concerned about equality and self-correction. The reference to Michael Jackson’s song Man In the Mirror, hit right on the spot. I feel as if society sees change occurring and people are getting along better and to get a rise out of people they start controversy. The media dictates what is shown to the world to start trouble. We need everyone to value we are all children of God and we are equal. Thank you once again for your encouraging post.


  10. Marie
    Oct 12, 2014 @ 20:09:50

    I loved your post and your video. It is amazing to think about how far we have come as a society in such a short time. I can not imagine living the way they did. It is truly amazing to think about how much impact Martin Luther King, Jr. had on our society. I cannot help but wonder what he would say about our society today.


  11. Ellen Dunn
    Nov 09, 2014 @ 22:59:41

    This is a great post. It certainly is remarkable to think of how far the United States has come in the past 60 years. It was not long that long ago and I think it is important to remind the children of the nation’s progression and show them love and respect in order to teach them how to treat their fellow classmates and citizens. The video is also wonderful and the song is just perfect. In order to change the world, we must be the change.
    -Ellen Dunn


  12. Kyle Parrish
    Nov 26, 2014 @ 16:07:31

    Fantastic post. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed the video and will be sharing it when we celebrate MLK day this year. With all the protests and issues surrounding Ferguson this week, I think it is very appropriate to look back on how Dr. King would have handled this situation.


  13. Patricia Tremblay
    Feb 04, 2015 @ 13:12:46

    Principal Vincentsen,

    My name is Patricia Tremblay and I am a student at the University of South Alabama, this is my second comment on your blog. I really enjoyed reading the letter you wrote to the families of your school regarding Martin Luther King. I think a lot of people recognize that Martin Luther King day is for celebrating and a day that they don’t have to go to school, but they are not remembering the true meaning. I think it is important to remind people how far our country has come so that it doesn’t ever happen again. I agree that we need to teach our children about equality and peace. The video was very emotional and I think families should also share this with their children. The link to Wonderopolis was a great resource for learning about Civil Rights. I will keep both of these in mind for my future classroom.


  14. Jordan Sweat
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 20:12:29

    Principal Vincentsen, my name is Jordan Sweat and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently in Edm310 which is an educational media class. I will be summarizing you post on my blog, you can check it out here:

    Dr. King was such an influential man who left a legacy which impacted the world. Our country has came a long way since segregation was accepted and I believe he would be happy with the progress. There are always needs for improvement and your post is a reminder of that. Thanks for sharing.


  15. Justine Spicciani
    Apr 12, 2015 @ 19:39:57

    Thank you Principal Vincentsen for this reminder of how great Dr. King’s influence was to us. It is almost scary, yet breathtaking that the separation appeal was made only 58 years ago. But I am happy to know we have come such a long way since that time. Thanks again for sharing.


  16. jvincentsen
    Jan 18, 2016 @ 09:27:50

    Reblogged this on One Principal's Musings.


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