Hope is the aspiration for a better tomorrow.

Hope is the faith in our ability to achieve results through a trusted process.

Hope is the confidence in our community to cultivate the best in each of us.

Public education in its simplest form is about hope. The hope we instill in each child's dream, the hope parents have in their schools to create the opportunities for learning and growth and the hope we practice in our growth mindset to make every day better than the last -- these are the underpinnings of the institution of public schools.

We ingrain in the children we serve that success requires us to work hard; success requires us to have endurance. We cultivate in our students the character skills necessary for persistence, for this endurance. We believe that strong character, grounded in values and faith, produces hope.

We must not succumb to those who attack public education and desire to steal the hope from the system. We hold steadfast to the conviction that education shouldn't be -- can't be -- a political football tossed around for financial and bureaucratic gains.

Education -- the process of learning, growing and improving -- is about the faith in ourselves to evolve and grow. Education is personal. It begins with our youngest students and continues throughout our lifetimes.

Faith in our own abilities, hope for a better tomorrow and the love for learning are at the core of our public-education system.

As we launch our Ready for Tomorrow initiative in the Hilliard City Schools, our focus on academics, mindset and interest is personal. It is unique to each student and requires our district to invest more than simply academic knowledge. It requires district leaders to invest in the social-emotional development of each child.

We must create the experiences and open the doors of opportunity for each student to discover how their interests and skills will lead to success after high school graduation. We fuel the hope, we create the spark and we instill the love.

Of course, we will continue to develop and focus on a strong academic foundation. In an ever-changing world, with evolving skills required for our graduates, many fundamentals have not changed and will not change.

All students must learn to read, write and do arithmetic. Students must learn to write legibly and understand the lessons of history. Young people must understand the scientific method, biology, astronomy and chemistry.

We must prepare students to take the ACT, SAT and AP exams; we must ensure every student has the core skills to enter the workforce. Academics always will be at the core of what we do in public education.

Our business leaders continue to have hope that public schools will instill a strong work ethic, self-discipline and love for learning in the students who earn diplomas. From the Hilliard Business Advisory Council to members of Columbus 2020, leaders in business and industry stress the need for students to have the right mindset and have the requisite life skills for success.

One of the specific areas we will be measuring as part of our commitment to mindset is hope. In addition to hope, in partnership with Panorama Education, we will be measuring growth mindset, grit, belonging and compassion.

Finally, our hope is building on faith in our dreams.

We must create opportunities for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status or background, to discover their interests through experiences.

Public education does -- and must -- level the playing field for all students. Students have the opportunity to write their own narratives, to tell their own stories.

There is no place in American society that individuals are more entitled to the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than in our public schools. We create equality of opportunity, and we fight for it and demand it. It is what we do.

Each student that enters our doors, every single day, should be filled with possibility and filled with limitless hope.

In Hilliard, as we live our mission to ensure that every single student is ready for tomorrow, we do so knowing that the dreams and aspirations these young people -- and their parents -- are grounded in the hope for a bright, prosperous tomorrow.

We have faith in our mission, we have hope for tomorrow and we love what we do.

Hilliard City Schools Superintendent John Marschhausen writes the Hilliard Schools Connection guest column for the ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News.