Ok, here goes. Think back to last spring. It was then that my principal called my name out during a school assembly and announced that the faculty had selected me as their Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year. I was surprised and overjoyed to say the least. They showered me with a beautiful calla lily, a wooden journal (did they know I liked to write?), and a plaque. After the program, I shut down my room for Easter vacation. That was April.
I submitted this packet to the district, answering all the questions as in-depth yet brief (as space allowed) as I could and carried on with my life. That was May.
Then the school year ended and I got an email calling me in for a district interview. I had a quick round of practice interviews with my administrative team (seriously, maybe a 15-20 min. session) because I had no idea how to prepare for the interviews. I dressed for success, tried to quell my nerves, and went in to face a panel of interviewers. I answered the questions the best I knew how, and although I didn't know the outcome, I felt good about my interview. That was June.
I spent my summer gutting my house out and painting, preparing for new beginnings. Then as I was cleaning, I got a call from the district office notifying me that I had made the next round and that I was one of the top 3 candidates. I was speechless. That was July.
I knew that all the Teachers of the Year would be recognized and given a plaque. I knew that I was tired and the program started extra early. My mom kept calling me to make sure I was out of the house because neither of us wanted me to be late. I was also getting nervous because here is when they would announce the district winner. I tried to put that out of my mind, but if you know me well, when I get nervous, I get really quiet. So I was a quiet girl that morning.
They announced all of our names as we went on stage to receive our framed certificate. (It was a large blue certificate with a plaid fabric stripe on one corner.) And then they announced the district winner. Me! Oh my goodness. I couldn't contain my tears. And as I walked to the other side of the stage, my mom and ladies from my church came from behind the curtain carrying a bouquet of balloons. (They had no idea I won, they just knew to be there. I'm fairly certain my principal orchestrated that surprise. Mom said someone gave her the balloons and told her to walk through that curtain and she wound up on stage. It never occurred to her that the balloons said congratulations, so I must have won. lol) Then I was a real cry baby. A local bank gave me a bonus check and a local dealership gave me a free one-year lease for a new vehicle. I could choose between 3 that they had selected.
So that Friday evening, my mom went with me to test drive two cars (the jeep was not an option for me) and by Saturday afternoon I was driving a 2014 1/2 Toyota Camry. The dealership will complete all the maintenance for one year and at the end of the year, I can decide to buy it or turn it back in.
Needless to say that my heart was and still is overjoyed. I thought of how proud my dad would be to see this moment. I thought of how grateful I am to be able to share this moment with my mom. I am constantly reminded of the faithfulness of God in all things. I am reminded that all good things come from God and how He never forgets His own.
There is so much back story to THIS story that I could never begin to tell, but just know that in this one long-winded episode that I have just described, my heart has been made glad.
Also at the program, my principal was named Principal of the Year for the district. They said we made history. The first Principal/Teacher winners from the same school. To God be the glory! :-)
Today I am encouraged and I wanted to share my news with you. That was August.