Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

This past weekend presented an annual opportunity to witness some very moving tributes to the individuals who serve our country in the armed forces. These brave individuals make many sacrifices for the honor of protecting our freedom.

Behind every soldier, man or woman, is a family of husbands or wives,  sons and daughters, mothers and  fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. These individuals make sacrifices too - spending months that turn into years away from their loved one - hopeful that they will one day return home safely.

I am honored to say that two lifelong friends, (both Saline HS graduates of 1985) are both Marines who have and are serving our country. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Tim and Doug and say a short prayer thanking God for their service and asking that He protect them while they serve. To Tim and Doug and their families - Edie, M1 & M2, Doug, Penny, JJ and Douglas, Lee, Luana and Darren I say thank you. Know always that you are appreciated!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back to 2nd Grade

The year was 1974. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup. Four top White House aides resigned and President Nixon was named by a federal grand jury as a co conspirator in the growing Watergate Scandal. Patricia Hearst was abducted, held hostage and later assisted the Symbionese Liberation Army in a bank robbery and "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band was the #1 hit of the year. 1974 also happened to be the year I started 2nd grade.

What do I remember about 2nd grade after close to 40 years? Well, I remember my teacher. Her name was Mrs. Cavanaugh, and after having a nun in 1st grade I appreciated the variety of her wardrobe. In many ways I revered Mrs. Cavanaugh. She was funny when the opportunity presented itself. She was tough when she had to be. She was kind, nurturing and genuinely seemed to care about me beyond the classroom, often asking me questions about my family, my sports teams, etc. Mrs. Cavanaugh was one of my all-time, favorite teachers.

Today I had the opportunity to volunteer in another 2nd grade classroom as a Junior Achievement volunteer. This 2nd grade class is right here in Saline and is taught by Mrs. Schwartzenberger.  Much like I remember my 2nd grade class, the room was filled with smiling, attentive, enthusiastic students who seemed eager to learn. When I asked questions, close to 20 hands shot up!

There are many opportunities to volunteer in our schools and literally hundreds of parents and community members who do so each and every year. Junior Achievement is but one option. If you would like to volunteer, please speak to your son or daughter's teacher or principal - I guarantee you will appreciate the joy of teaching and learning!

Mrs. Cavanaugh, Mrs. Schwartzenberger and all the 2nd grade teachers out there - thank you for all that you do! It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our students remain as enthusiastic and engaged in school when they enter 12th grade as they are in 2nd grade. As for my 2nd grade classmates - John Steg, Billy Poselli and Donna Fry  - I hope you are all doing well!