Growing up in Douglas and going to Loretto Catholic School, my experiences were not very diverse. When I went to Douglas High School that changed, but not by a lot. I then went to ASU and became a teacher. I did my student teaching in a low income district and my special education student teaching in the Roosevelt District with the majority of students and teachers being African American. What an incredible experience that was! I got hired in Gilbert at Gilbert Junior High when it was a very small district and growth had not come yet.
I spent 39 years there watching the growth and the diversity. Gilbert El was probably the most diverse school at that time, but we had several very nice subdivisions being built. I loved that we were able to bring everyone together and be a part of our school through those years. We had LDS kids, Catholic students,Christian and Protestant Religions, Muslim, and Jewish and I am sure many others. But what I was most proud of, is that we all were Gilbert El!! At one point, we had almost 1300 students so I saw the whole growth and decline that happens in a community like Gilbert.
My point on this post is that through my last 45 years of being in education, I have worked with people from many cultures, communities, religions and belief systems because that is what our country has always been about. I have lived through growth and then decline but no matter what, the message was still the same--we care about our kids and families no matter who they are.
I know this is long, but in honor of all of the many and diverse religions and children I have worked with, I am wishing everyone a very peaceful holiday season no matter what your beliefs are. Just remember that kindness and acceptance are what it is all about and our children are who will continue to make this country the greatest country in the world. We, as adults, need to provide the best to keep that happening. It is critical!