Wally Delecki has been an incredible mentor and friend to me through the years. He has given me many opportunities for professional and personal growth. I will always be grateful for all that he has done for me.
After Wally retired as our superintendent, he began teaching at NAU in the graduate program in Educational Leadership. He had me co-teach a class with him and did I learn a lot! This experience provided me with an opportunity to teach for NAU.
From 2002 until just before I left Gilbert, I taught for NAU. My first teaching experience was in the summer of 2002 when I taught a leadership class with a co-hort of east valley police officers. The Ed Leadership Master's was a degree that was recognized by several of the police departments. What a first class to have--12 police officers and three teachers who were taking the class as an elective!!!
I truly had to be on my toes with this group! I gained a new understanding of what police officers do each day. When they leave their homes, there is a chance that they may not come home. They also deal with all that is wrong in society and I am sure at times it is difficult not to get jaded. But what a wonderful group of people! I had three or four other cohorts of public safety officers, but that class was special. I got to be good friends with a couple of the Gilbert Police officers and kept in contact with them after the class was over. One in particular will always hold a special place in my heart--Rob Targosz. Rob was an incredible human being and he was the first Gilbert Police officer to be killed in the line of duty. I will never forget the day I received that phone call. I was in Chicago at a conference, and my wonderful secretary, Barb O'Fallon, called me. She knew how I felt about Rob. It was devastating news.
Over the next eight years, I taught a couple of special education classes. I also taught a parental involvement class that was great. My favorite class was Professional Problems of Teachers. That class evolved over the eight years as problems changed. It was great teaching teachers. It truly helped me grow professionally and personally and I will always value that experience!!!