First and foremost, I would like to thank God for giving me the ability and energy to teach for so many years. My heartfelt congratulations to all of the inductees. Special thanks to those who nominated me and to the Foundation committee. Thank you to the all involved with the Foundation for all of your diligent work in putting on such a fabulous banquet.
I was blessed to have parents who believed in the value of Catholic education and encouraged higher education. They also taught me the importance of being a lifelong learner. A special thank you to my family who have for so many years put up with me putting work first.
I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors when I first started teaching at Helias. Bro. James and Pat Buchanan both taught me the importance of having high expectations for both myself and my students and the real meaning of passion for and happiness in teaching. Pat also instilled in me the desire to have an active role in my church community. Then there was Mr. Rackers…Miss Fuemmeler thinks that I am a character, well I learned it from the best. Mr. Rackers taught me that you must show up to work every day unless you are in the hospital or dead. I really did not realize the importance of this until one day when I buzzed the office three times within an hour to ask if we were getting out early because a few snow flurries were in the air…later that day, Sr. Jean said Seifert it is days like this that I would get rid of you if you didn’t show up every day. Mr. Rackers also said to always ask for a discount but not over 45% because you don’t want them to think you want too much. Then when they give you a 35% discount, you thank them for having such a great idea and so much kindness.
Past and present, I have truly had tremendous co-workers who believe in the value of Catholic education, strive to give Helias students the best, and also put up with me. I have had people ask me how can you still like teaching after so many years and some suggest it is a calling. To me, it is the best of the best and truly heaven on earth. Where else could one be employed and read all day and people think you are working or you can be a grammar snob or a spelling Nazi and students and teachers alike think you are helpful and say thank you. Where else could one be when you franticly search for your lost reading glasses and 23 students stare at you with a blank look for five minutes before they start laughing and then you realize your glasses were on your head the entire time. Without a doubt, I firmly believe that my job and the entire Helias community is a gift from God.
I would like to extend a special thank you to the Diocesan feeder schools who lay a solid foundation for many of the students who attend Helias and to the students who did not attend Catholic elementary schools, I am so grateful that they have given Helias a chance because I feel strongly that it is a chance of a lifetime. Year after year, we have extraordinary students who are faith filled and excel in both academics and extracurriculars.
I feel blessed to be part of a community that has wonderful students, parents, grandparents, and supporters. Thank you to all of you for being here this evening. I will leave you with one last thing—Miss Fuemmeler tries to tell jokes at the end of afternoon announcements and they don’t go so well—so I am going to give it a try—so here goes—So Jesus came upon a crowd who were about to stone a woman. He looked at the crowd and said “let the person who has not sinned cast the first stone” Shortly after saying this a woman came out of the crowd and hurled a stone. Jesus turned and said, “I hate when you do that Mom.” Have a wonderful evening and a safe trip home.