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Class of 2012

May 26, 2012

What a day! It’s been 12 years in the making. It’s unbelievable how quickly time has passed, how much has changed, and how my heart can just as quickly be transported back in time 12 years. Back to a time when I was so over my head I couldn’t think straight. I was so overwhelmed, so scared, so completely without any sense of what to do next. Not only was I away from home, teaching a class I didn’t know how to teach, managing money, navigating unknown roads without a smart phone and GPS, trying to meet new people despite my non-social tendencies, and missing my “soon-to-be-fiance” who was finishing his last semester of college, but I was also holding two jobs.

The headmaster (God rest his soul) was an incredibly generous and loving man. I grew to love and cherish our early morning (6 a.m.) greetings as he would cheerfully meet me at the school so that I could get my class in order before 7 a.m. mass began. He didn’t want any of his single teachers on campus alone EVER. How I loved Dr. Tierney! He was a bright star in an otherwise morning dread…how would I ever “entertain” these kids for another day.

In addition to teaching, I ended my KG day and became an afterschool nanny. Yep. I was in over my head AGAIN! Trying to make ends meet, the money was great and thankfully the kids too. I did homework, ran carpool duty, cooked, cleaned, made menus, and loved these two incredible kids.

However, there was this constantly nagging sense that I had no idea how I was going to wake up the next day and TEACH twenty five-year-olds anything of value. What, indeed, was I going to teach? What was I going to do so that ALL of us didn’t end the day merely thankful it was over. Golly, that was the year. These were the kids!

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What I didn’t know between August and December of 1999 was how completely I was going to LOVE these kids. These amazing children taught me so much. They caused me to be better than what I was before them. They showed me what it meant to laugh, to fight for all things good. They forced me to LIVE the school’s motto, “Semper Altius” – Always Higher. I fought hard to change the dynamic of this first year teaching, with all it’s complications both exterior and interior. I had to PRAY hard every minute of that year. I prayed for my students, I prayed for myself, I prayed in thanksgiving for the most amazing mentor who believed in me and invested the time to make me a great teacher! What I didn’t know was how great it would feel to embrace your talents (and failures) and fulfill the vocation God had intended for my life…teacher (and later wife and mother).

girls

Then and Now…

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Yes. My first Kindergarten class, the one that taught me what TRUE love really meant, has graduated from high school.

alejandro

These kids who taught me how to sacrifice, how to pray, how to rise above my failings, are “all grown up” now.

Bobby

I watched them process into the gymnasium this afternoon as tears trickled from my eyes. (I might add that our kids were quite disappointed in having lost the bet with daddy….$1 each if mommy didn’t cry.) I remember how exciting it was to wear that cap and gown, to hear the incredible band play Pomp & Circumstance as we walked in candence down the aisle of Century II Convention Center in Wichita, KS. As irony would have it, I was dressed in green and yellow also. Indeed, Pinecrest Academy has always been home.

Ben

As luck would have it, so much of what they taught me I share now as a mother to my own children and beautiful husband. In addition to what this class of kids shared with me, the Pinecrest community shared even more. It’s become our family and even after 12 years, 8+ years of which I’ve no longer been a teacher, it’s still home. We share it now with our kids and the tradition continues.

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Congratulations Class of 2012. I’m proud of you and honored to have “known you when”. God be with you!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ruth Andry permalink
    May 31, 2012 8:54 pm

    Sara, what a gift you have, sharing your heartfelt perspective of the journey. Sean graduated last night, also a member of the class of 2012. I remember meeting you 12 years ago and never once did you exhibit an ounce of doubt. I saw a confidence in Christ in you from our first encounter. It has been a blessing to know you.

  2. May 31, 2012 9:34 pm

    I’m Ari’s grandmother, and I have been a teacher at Pinecrest for the last five years. I also remember when you were Ari’s teacher. Thank you so much for recording in your beautiful words your reflections which capture the essence of our school and the family of which all of our families are a part.

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