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Miss LaClaire, Miss Just, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Van Dyke, Mrs. Goranson, Mrs. Stankman, Mr. McNamara. When the school year comes around, I go through these names and memories again. I may not remember everything they ever taught but I remember every name and face of the teachers I had through Grade School (6th Grade). I admire and trust educators to do what they were trained to do.  I grew up with two supportive parents who partnered with my teachers, and I know times have changed, but I still believe in the power an educator has to inspire a child’s very heart and soul…even against the odds.

If I can remember each name of each teacher, I had in those “formative” years AND the names of most, if not all of my Middle School, High School and University teachers…they must have had SOME impact. I thank God for those who teach. It is sometimes a thankless but glorious job to stand at the gate and train those who must pass through to the next leadership time. At times I have an epiphany and think that my parents weren’t so crazy after all when they mourned about MY generation, and I think of this great quote:

“I’m trying very hard to understand this generation.
They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing
so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to
drive a car will occur in the same week.”
ERMA BOMBECK (U.S. humorist, 1927-1996)

But as much as I remember (or don’t) about those that taught me to read, write, add and subtract…it’s these names that I remember more, and hold even closer to my heart…Pearl Mohler, Della Reibolt, Della Nunez, June Clinebell, Violet Van Hoose, Jean Martin, Eloise Woods…These were my Sunday School teachers from the time I was in the Nursery through my High School years, at HIGHLANDS CHURCH OF GOD in Kennewick, Washington. These women not only taught me the stories of Scripture (using everything from flannel graphs to play dough and puppets) but they LOVED me and when I was at my home church, I was as much at home as I was with my parents in our home. To those remarkable people, all gone except for one now, I give thanks to God.

As the years run by and each new “class” walks through the pages of the Herald Bulletin and through the halls of Central Christian Church, let’s thank God for the people He has placed in our children’s path, to teach, train and lead. Let us always pray for our children’s safety and wisdom for teachers.

As much as we may shake our heads at some of the things we see with each generation, it is good to know that some things haven’t changed in a millennium, and through those years, teachers were always held as precious:

“What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state,
than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?”

(Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar, Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC)

“Thank you.” To all at Central who teach, who have taught, who will teach. I also thank those who teach our own Church small groups, as well as those who have taught and are teaching in the public school system…God smiles on you.

“Teach the youth about the way they should go;
even when they are old they will not depart from it.”