I try to do Thankfulness posts as many Thursdays as possible. I thought about what was an appropriate post and thought about how busy this week is for our family and thought this might not be the week it happens. Well then lo and behold I was called in to substitute teach. In the middle school, at least today, it means, go over a worksheet, explain directions and pass out to the kids, then I probably have 30 minutes of quiet while they complete it. If I was a fulltime teacher, likely there would be papers to grade, grades to record or any number of other things to do. As the sub, I usually bring something to 'entertain' myself. Today it was Cody's computer with the thought of adding several blog entries that I could come back and 'publish' later. I had brought things to do a couple of 'Wednesday' blogs and had a couple of ideas for some others, but this one hit me, this will publish/post on Cody's last day of school at Centralia R-6.
I remember the lump in my throat taking him into to school for that first day. Not sure it even compares watching him leave that last day will be (at least by the time you read these words) I could have done a thankfulness post on him, but I am pretty sure anyone who has read much of this blog is fully aware just how great I think that kid is. The Farmer and I work hard to teach our kids the right thing and we think we are doing an okay job, but there are several people who are almost as responsible for the great kid he is and that is the wonderful group of men and women who comprise the teaching staff at our schools.
His kindergarten teacher was Laura Warbritton. She was just the teacher he needed, she saw his need to soak up more information and kept him busy and learning all day everyday. He thought she knew EVERYTHING. Of course back then, he also thought that his parents did too. LOL She was the first person who pointed out just how bright this kiddo was. She said he'll be an engineer one day, at one point this last year, I thought she was right, but as many HS Seniors do, he's done lots of changing of his mind. In the next two years, he would have two other great teachers, Emily Riddle (Erisman) and Jamie Herndon (Robertson) he enjoyed being in their rooms as well. I always felt sorry for Jamie, she had a group of boys that year who were all close buddies, about 6 of them, we told her the first day that she didn't have enough 'corners' in her room! They survived.
In third grade, Ann Beck helped Cody truly dig into his love of reading. She had a reading club and he enjoyed reading some classics. I remember she and I both 'dreading' when he got to THAT PART in Where the Red Fern Grows, I think both each secretly hoping that it happened at the other place. We both knew how tender hearted he was and were sure it would be bad at the end. In fourth grade, he was one of the lucky kids to have been a Nancy Buie kid. Seth was born during that year, at parent teacher conference time. She went above and beyond, she came out to us for our conference, arms laden with supper and little gifts for all four kids. What a bright shining star that sadly burned out much, much too soon!
When Cody was moving through the upper grade school grades, we still just had three buildings. So with 5th grade he headed to Chester Boren Middle School. This building is just full of great teachers. The ones who seem to stick out in my mind are the ones of the classes Cody loved the most. There are great math instructors, Lisa Mattheissen, Tim Motley and Julie Crum. He loves Science as well, and Brenda Barnes, Angie Ridgway, Sherry Jerome and Mr. Long encouraged that love as well. Other teachers he liked and were memorable to us as well were are the 'Kellys' Dickerson and Blackwell. He loved Alicia Hancock, even if he still doesn't like to write! As I write this, I keep wanting to name current teachers and I will get to that. Cody was always a big fan of Mr Ben and he even though he wasn't crazy about French class, he realized in the basics of learning French helped him pick up Spanish quickly in high school.
I remember a hilarious conversation I had with then middle school studies teacher, Chet Gooding. He said it always kind of scared him when Cody raised his hand, particularly when maybe he hadn't asked a question of the class. He shared that one day in class Cody's hand shot up and he was pretty insistent that he be called on.Cody wanted to argue the authenticity of a picture in their Social Studies book. As Cody proceeded with the following explanation, that the pictured Civil War battle was mislabeled, as there were no cavalry involved in whatever Battle was supposedly being depicted, it was battle of strictly foot soldiers. There were horses in this picture, it must be incorrect. Chet laughed and said that the 'Civil War nerd' in him was both interested in the conversation and a little scared that a then 12 year had remembered each every battle with such fine detail and could recall it accurately enough to argue about it.
Cody was in band and started out with Mr Goade and then he was lucky enough to finish up with Bryan Koerner, who I am sorry to see go, his enthusiasm for music is very infectious. Cody didn't play in band throughout high school, but the background its given him, will be something that I know he will use throughout life. He was also part of our districts' gifted program, taught by Ann Seider. She does such a great job encouraging and challenging these students. I always said Nexus was the reason Cody got a cell phone, their Destination Imagination team won the state contest and advanced to the world finals, in Knoxville, TN. They were to be gone a little over a week, I wanted my 6th grader to be able to call home (and I could call him) so he got a phone.
High school, where to start? My math science kid loved much that high school has had to offer in those departments, I think that its likely a toss up which he liked better, particularly the upper level classes. I know that Tonya Schmidt and Seth Woods are names regularly mentioned in my household and ALWAYS held at highest regard! He also enjoyed Nathan Gordon in math as well as on the football field. High school was the second time he saw Mike Hann, who had been his middle school football coach. He loves history etc, even if he did get caught texting in class! ;)
Besides math and science and the basics, high school has been full of many MANY Ag classes. I think Cody has taken over half the ones offered and enjoyed them. Scott and Lori do a great job with the classes and FFA. It has been a BIG part of his high career.
I guess I kinda followed Cody's 'career' with the teachers he had, at least the ones for sure I remembered. But there are so many other great educators in these buildings. Jennifer Ludwig, who he cadets for has been his number one editor proofreading scholarship applications. Bobby Reeves who is now Principal at Chance Elementary, was his grade school PE teacher and golf coach the first couple of years.
Many teachers wear multiple hats in school districts, several are coaches as well. No essay about Centralia would be complete without the mention of Erle Bennett, Jim Newstead and Mike Adkisson. I don't know if Cody ever had Jim in class, but had the other two, but the place they have in his heart and ours is their outstanding coaching of our football team. I never had to worry too much about Cody getting into trouble, he was always more scared of them than us, and will admit to putting them up to a few 'talking to' conversations with him, as I know just highly he values their opinions. The entire football staff put in hours that would be deemed above and beyond the call to duty. In the summer their mornings started about 5am and I know for a fact several Friday nights they could not have arrived home much before midnight on some of those away games.
There are so many great teachers in the district. I couldn't even start to name them all and won't try, as I would surely miss someone and I would hate to do that. Since its Cody's last day there, I thought I would just highlight a few of the ones he had.
Happy Teachers Week,