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we are portland public

They all wore bright yellow. Every student. Every teacher. Every staff member. They beamed with pride as they marched chanting “We are, Portland Public! We are, Portland Public!” 

They began their march on the Eastern Promenade heading up and then down Munjoy Hill to Monument Square. The people of Portland lined Congress Street, clapping and cheering, celebrating the students, teachers, and staff members of our city’s schools. 

Years ago the people of Portland started noticing the students wearing yellow. They saw them in our city’s parks or at retirement homes. They saw them in the blustery cold or the blazing heat. They saw them by the ocean or near our city’s streams and ponds. Always during the school day. Always wearing yellow.

When the people looked close, it seemed like the students were shining. Maybe it was their bright yellow attire, but most think it was because their eyes always beamed brightly. 

Their bright eyes beamed because they were serving others.

The students created plays, sang songs, and put on shows for our city’s elderly. They built workforce housing with local carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. They cleaned our parks and cared for our streams. They made food for our underprivileged and delivered it beaming bright.

They were part of something bigger than themselves, a school system, and a community that believed service to others was more important than any test or passing grade. 

That’s my wish; what’s yours?