The last two months of the school year are always incredibly busy. This year was no exception. Because I have been so busy, I haven't taken the time to write about all of the events that have occurred. So today I will do a summary of the exciting events that have occurred.
The week of April 22, two 4th grade classes from the school where Kerri teaches 4th grade, came down on their southeast Arizona field trip. They spent the night at the Ray Borane Middle School gym which is just a block from the house. The past two years, the three 4th grade classes have had pen pals with classes at Joe Carlson here in Douglas. So I had them all for dinner so that they could meet their pen pals. It was so cool as the Douglas kids lined up in the front yard waiting for the bus. As soon as they saw it, they started cheering, jumping and waving. The 4th grade teachers and Cyndy, the principal, came to help each night! I really appreciated their help. I made beans and salsa and we also had hot dogs. The pugs thought that all of the kids were there to see them!
The next week I had two Gilbert El 5th grade classes on Monday and Tuesday and Kerri's class on Thursday. Dottie's class and Angi's class made the decision to come down here a little late to have pen pals. But we will make sure they have them next year if they come down here. I could hardly wait to see the kids as they were in 2nd grade when I left. And it was so nice to visit with the parents that I knew.
On Saturday (27th), we had our Family Leadership Institute graduation at DHS. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch was there, along with Cynthia Rocha. Consuelo started this program and Cynthia is the CEO. I truly believe that this is going to be something that will make a difference in our entire community. The ceremony was so touching as parents shared their vision boards. And Consuelo was inspirational as usual. I am always amazed at how she connects with people. She is truly the epitome of what "servant leadership" means. She came by the house to see Teresa before they left. She is truly "My Hero" and so many ways. I feel blessed to know both she and Cynthia!
On the Monday that Dottie's class came, we had our Diamond Scholar Night where we honored 4th through 12th graders for their academics, citizenship, and attendance. We had two sessions--one at 5:30 for elementary and middle schools and at 7:00 for DHS. Rosella Melgoza, an academic coach, did an incredible job decorating. The auditorium looks absolutely amazing!! Daniel Hernandez, the aide who helped to save Representative Gabby Giffords' life that Saturday in 2010, was the keynote speaker. Daniel is a phenomenal young man who I believe will be go on to many bigger and better things. He recently wrote a book and has been on television doing a lot of interviews. His speech to the students was right on target and he was able to give the same message to both groups, but a different levels. Daniel talked about giving back to the community and the importance of kindness.
He stayed after the high school ceremony and had his picture taken with many of the students who were honored. I invited him to the house to meet the 5th graders and he came. He talked to them and told them about visiting the White House and about the State of the Union that he went to. He then stayed around and had his picture taken with many of the kids. What an incredible young man he is!!
On Wednesday of last week, two authors came to Douglas to present at DHS. They are Adam Rex and Mac Barnett. Although they write for younger children, the high school kids were really into what they were telling them about how they were published. Adam is both an author and an illustrator. He and Mac met when he illustrated one of Mac's books. Mac is hilarious, so the high school kids really enjoyed that. I went to lunch with them and they are really nice and very down to earth.
All in all, it has been an amazing few weeks. The positives of this job truly out weigh the negatives and the negative people always trying to pull you down. I truly feel that I am making a difference here in Douglas and it comes from my heart!