Children in a classroom.

Children in a classroom. Credit: Getty Images / istock

To all my teacher friends, as you know, the work you do with your students has a significant impact on their lives. It is an awesome responsibility. May you manage it with grace.

This year might be a more important one than any other. Your students need to hear from you that telling the truth matters, that facts do exist, and that thoughtful people can agree on what they are. Your students need to hear from you that telling the truth (after first telling a lie) is not “flipping” or being a “rat,” that it is a sign of learning and growth that comes when one decides to do the right thing. Your students need to hear that kindness, compassion, integrity and treating others with respect are the values that make us human, and that make our schools and our country places where we can grow.

And finally, they need to hear from you that regardless of the color of their skin, how they practice their religion, or where their parents were born, you believe in their ability to learn and to be outstanding, valued members of our community.

Jane Modoono, East Hampton

Editor’s note: The writer was principal of Herricks High School in New Hyde Park from 2002 to 2015.

Suffolk’s fees will drive him out of state

I recently finished paying my mortgage, but found out from my credit union that to get the lien released, showing full payment, I next have to pay to Suffolk County a recording fee, a satisfaction fee and an assessor’s fee — a total of $1,050.Why is Suffolk charging these fees? They were passed because Suffolk County is broke. Every time it is broke, a fee is created for overtaxed residents.

When does it stop? Suffolk cannot live within a budget. I have to pay a Suffolk County fee on my car registration renewal, beach fees and a false-alarm fee when my home alarm goes off. Red-light camera fines are a money grab, not about safety.

People are leaving Long Island because of these rising costs. This has to stop. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has raised police taxes and created or raised many fees since taking office in 2012. He won’t get my vote if he seeks re-election. I cannot wait until I move down South.

Paul Fabrico, Coram