Nestled on my desk in bold, wooden block letters rests “The Hippie’s Desk,” a work of art created and given to me by one of my former middle school students. Travis made it with a scroll saw. A few years later, Travis was on the front page of our local newspaper. The headline proclaimed, “Man, I Love Art.” An accompanying picture captured his smiling face with his carefully carved art pieces behind him. The article reported that he was selling his works of art at craft fairs for hundreds of dollars. He found his passion.
Local elections matter.
One of the organizers of last year’s school board majority recall is now running for state representative.
Her name is Tammy Story. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with her on a range of issues, especially public schools. It is clear to me that she is a rare find in the political world. Ms. Story has demonstrated that she has the public good at heart, not only through her words, but more importantly, through her actions.
Whenever I visit my co-author and friend, Kristina, I feel as if I have woken up a bit more.
She is the personification of character, integrity, and compassion that would make this world a far better place if only the masses would agree to aspire to her example.
As I had posted on Facebook several months ago, Kristina went through a pretty rough surgery at the tail end of February of this year. She had her Baclofen pump (the device that delivers muscle relaxants to her lumbar area) replaced so that she can get relief from the incessant pain. The recovery was a bit slow at the beginning. Healing took a while. Kristina needed time for all of her bodily systems to run smoothly again.
An evening school board meeting had just ended. A stunned majority of attendees began filtering out. Our superintendent of over 12 years, an individual who was a recent quarterfinalist for National Superintendent of the Year, had unexpectedly and abruptly resigned. Cindy Stevenson cited the inability to work with our newly elected school board majority as the reason for leaving our district.
A few people were milling around Cindy after the meeting. As I began to wish her well, she hugged me. Rivulets of tears flowed into my shirt. The board majority of Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams were conversing with their close-knit supporters in the immediate background. I could discern some muted laughter. The moment was surreal.
How a Student Can Teach and a Teacher Can Learn
Kristina rolled into my life in 2004. Literally. You see, she has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair. She came to me as a sixth grader; a passionate, expressive girl whose difficulty verbalizing her thoughts hindered her ability to express herself.
I was her special education teacher. She would eventually become my teacher.
“What do you see yourself doing after high school?” I asked one day as I wheeled her to the elevator. She was then in eighth grade. Kristina wryly replied that she was not going to be a professional soccer player. She wanted to be a part of a publishing company and write.