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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 5, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Unveiling of TeachersCount PSA
Time Life Building
New York, New York

photos  Photos

11:22 A.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you, Diana. Thank you very much. Thank you for your commitment to our nation's teachers. John, thank you very much for helping us. Time Inc. really is responsible for all of this, and we thank you very much for that. Peter Boneparth, Board Member of Jones New York in the Classroom, and also the CEO of Jones Apparel Group, thank you very much for what you've done.

Mrs. Laura Bush stands with her second grade teacher, Charlene Gnagy, as Mrs. Gnagy speaks to the audience Thursday, October 5, 2006, during the TeachersCount “Behind every famous person is a fabulous teacher” PSA campaign launch ceremony in New York City. The campaign is to help create awareness for teachers and the role they play in the lives of children and to raise the status of the teaching profession. White House photo by Shealah Craighead Thanks for inviting me to be part of the TeachersCount PSA campaign. The ads we're unveiling today are new expressions of an old, timeless truth, and that is that each one of us are shaped by our teachers. We all remember the teachers who made a difference in their lives. I'm delighted to be here with my favorite teacher, Mrs. Charlene Gnagy. Mrs. Gnagy was my second grade teacher, and I admired her so much I wanted to grow up and be just like her.

Of all the things I remember about Mrs. Gnagy, what stands out is the way she treated her students. My best friend was in the other second grade class at our school, and she was her teacher's pet -- and I was sure I was Mrs. Gnagy's pet. (Laughter.) At recess, my friends and I would spend our playtime standing by our teachers as they talked, because just being near these women made us feel important and cared for. What's special about Mrs. Gnagy is that she made every one of her students feel like they were the pet.

Excellent teachers like Mrs. Gnagy show their students that there's an adult who cares about them, who respects them, and who believes in them. And excellent teachers help students discover positive things about themselves that they might not discover by themselves.

Across America, excellent teachers are helping young people find the best in themselves every day, yet as rewarding as their vocation is, teaching is a very demanding job, and too few teachers receive the encouragement and the support that they need.

Nearly half of all teachers leave the profession by their fifth year. And the U.S. Department of Education predicts that we'll need more than two million new teachers in America's classrooms over the next decade.

Today, Time and Jones New York are showing their commitment to teachers across the United States through contributions to this PSA campaign.

TeachersCount ads will appear in Time's family of magazines, educating the public about the value of good teachers, and encouraging people to consider teaching as a career.

Thank you to Time, Jones New York, and TeachersCount for recognizing the millions of fabulous teachers across the United States for their terrific work. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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