Saturday, May 25, 2013

{{{ My SHOUT OUT to SMCA!! }}}

It has been a busy month in my life...but rest assure... I'm back!!!

This post is a dedication to my many amazing teacher friends...
With the school shooting that occurred in December and the horrible destruction of Mother Nature across the country, more than ever, I think people realize the importance of teachers. The role of a teacher is well beyond the list of words that could be put into a job description. These teachers have truly been put to the test and I believe that the teachers I know and have taught with would go above and beyond their call of duty, just as these wonderful educators have. If you are my friend on Facebook, I mentioned in my post...THESE HEROES ARE TEACHERS IN DISGUISE!!! If we are friends and you are a teacher, I am thankful for all that you do each day and the ways that you have influenced who I am as a person and as an educator.

Now that I have thanked all THOSE teacher friends, there is a specific group of teacher friends that I'd like to give a specific shout out to. In July of 2012, I decided to take a BIG journey in my life. This decision required me to give up many things, including my DREAM job (I'm talking... I've only wanted to be two things in life...a kindergarten teacher and a mom) and to move to California. I knew that finding a teaching job would be a challenge so I looked for an opportunity in the nanny world and thus is my current job.

Not only was giving up my kindergarten life a challenge, I also had to say goodbye to the greatest place I have had the opportunity to teach, SMCA. I have been in many schools in my twenty-eight years of life and there has never been a place so special. What makes SMCA so special? Let me list a few...

{the students} {the teachers} {the parents}

Don't get me wrong, I know that many people feel passionately about the place where they teach or send their child. And they should! The boss Mr. P said it best... SMCA is not for everyone...But if it's the school for you, there is just something special and different that you feel when you are there. If you've ever taught there, been a parent there, or attended there, you can relate to what I'm talking about.

At SMCA, students belong. At SMCA parents and teachers work their BUNS off, day and night to give those kids the environment that they need to grow emotionally and academically. At SMCA students feel loved.

In January, SMCA got the most horrible news. My SMCA family was told by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis that in order to eliminate the tremendous debt owed by the church that SMCA would close this May, 2013. There couldn't be worse news for such a growing community. Parents and teachers fought quite the fight to keep the school open but with limited amount of time given to them, could not make it happen. 
The Archdioceses' decision has left our many amazing families to choose new schools for their children. I have no doubt that all of these students will go on and be successful in life, but there will be some things, especially that teachers that were "SMCA specialties" that they will not get to experience in the rest of their school journey. 

THE ABC's of SMCA...

{A... (Andy) Talk about a woman full of SMCA spirit. Mrs. K has always loved SMCA! How many teachers invite their students to spend the day at their own home for their eighth grade retreat? Mrs. K has done this year upon year upon year. This is a tradition that all of her students will remember for years to come. Not to mention, who on earth could continue to teach part time while taking on a position as interim principal when SMCA was in a bind. She received no extra stipend. Mrs. K did all of this out of her love for SMCA.}

{B... (Brittany)... I have had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. N for 25 years of my life. In this time, I have been able to get to recognize her many strengths as a person and educator. She is organized, crafty, creative, and incredibly smart! I love that she would find something good about instructing reading and would think of me and send it my way! Her characteristics have had a direct influence on her students and many of her colleagues lives as well. Seeing her up to date and ever changing activities in the classroom always helped keep my desire to do new things in my classroom alive. I often wished I had her for a teacher, mainly because I feel like the things that she teaches stick with her students.}

{C... Mrs. C~April) Though I've forgotten to call her by her new name for two years, now Mrs. C was the perfect addition to the SMCA staff! This newish teacher is an organized, standard meeting, Pinterest pinning, fool! She makes sure that learning is fun for her kiddos and they are prepared for third grade. I especially have loved the way that she has gotten her second graders to write such awesome pieces and how excited the kids were about and how well she prepared her kids for, first communion!}

{D... (Mrs. D~ Pam)... Mrs. D has been around for 30+ years! Talk about sticking with SMCA through the good times and the bad! Mrs. D has devoted her life to SMCA students. All of her students will remember the beautiful handwriting that she passed on to them, listening to read-alouds in her classroom, and her way of making sure that all of her students left feeling loved and as smarter individuals from her classroom!}

{E... (Ms. E~Allison)... This first year teacher joined SMCA this year. Taking on wild and crazy kindergarteners is a big job, and Ms. E was determined to do her best to prepare her kiddos for first grade. I enjoyed seeing the activities she'd post on Facebook that she did with her kiddos in the kindergarten room!}

{F... (Fearless Leader~Mr. P)... I can not say enough about Mr. P. If anyone has had to deal with any burdens in this, it is this man. Mr. P signed up to be principal in a very challenging time. In his years at SMCA, not only did enrollment rise, but enthusiasm rose as well. Mr. P brought a contagious energy to SMCA that had been missing for years. He did everything he could imagine for SMCA! As with all families, we struggled together through the hard times and enjoyed the good. When Mr. P was asked to be principal, he was also asked to teach P.E. He took on this job with a positive attitude and got to grow relationships with his students that not many principals are able to have! Though his time as SMCA principal ends, I commend him on a job well done. It is a job that I would never have wanted to take on and one that he will never earn the credit that he deserves!} 

G... (Great Addition~Mrs. H)...Mrs. H took on a super big and crazy important job this year as school secretary. This meant lots of training before her job even started and a ridiculous amount of patience with every aspect of SMCA: Parents, Students, Teachers & Other Staff. Such a job requires much dedication! Mrs. H's positive attitude and hard working style were too short lived, but much appreciated by all of SMCA!}

{H...(Lisa)...Mrs. H has been providing beautifully delightful art instruction to the SMCA students for many years. I'm talking take to get framed, hang on the wall, student work. Teachers are often amazed at the art that comes from their students after art class. Art will not be the same for SMCA kiddos!}

I... (Intertwined) With SMCA being so small and quaint; parents, teachers, and students have all been very intertwined. This is one of the reasons saying goodbye is so hard. SMCA truly is more than a school... we will continue to be intertwined and will remain that way no matter where we are.  

{J...(Rhonda~Mrs. J) In her many years at SMCA, Mrs. J has been the music teacher. Every Christmas she works hard to put together a fun and creative Christmas program for the families to attend. She has also put many hours into Grandparents Day Programs as well. We have enjoyed her musical talents at weekly mass. Mrs. Jackson has also taught many students how to play the piano! 

{K... (Kristie)... Mrs. F. is an amazing teacher! She has given lots of time, hard work, and devotion to SMCA over the past 6 years! What is the best about Mrs. F is her calm and cool attitude in the classroom. She knows how to manage a fun and busy classroom, but her mannerisms keep her students calm as well. Even before she was a mommy, she had a motherly instinct that made her students feel safe at school and their mothers feel safe leaving their first graders with her! What wonderful readers and writers popped out of first grade!!! Mrs. F was always someone you could rely on. Each teacher felt like they had a special relationship with her because she always made you feel like you could trust her!}

{L... (Lisa)... Ms. Lisa has worked so hard at SMCA to get the cafeteria looking good and tasting it's best. There are few unhappy children during lunch time! She heats up brought lunches, has tea for all the staff everyday for free, and lets students choose their birthday lunch for the entire school! Ms. Lisa and the cafeteria always sang happy birthday to the kiddos on their birthday in the lunchroom with a little cupcake in celebration! Needless to say the cafeteria was a good place to be!!! Ms. Lisa was always willing to help and with no specific janitor, this was another one of her many duties. She was never too far away to clean up a disaster zone!}

{M... (Maureen) Another Mrs. F has been at SMCA as long as I can remember. Before I was even a teacher, many of my SMCA friends were taught by her! Students from SMCA will miss out on Mrs. F's bold personality and the push she gave her students' to do their best. No one will quite embed family tradition (all of her three children attended SMCA and her granddaughter got to go to pre-k for 2 years), English (I've often been told by her previous and current students she's the best there is!) and laughter (oh boy has she made us all laugh!) into their brains like she has. (I'm nervous now about her editing my post as she reads it!) Many memories were made with her speech classes and tournaments as well as her mass reflection skits and productions. No one is quite like this lady.}

{N...(Nikki)...A new addition to the current SMCA staff was first year teacher Ms. R. I was so bummed not to get to teach with Ms. R this year, not only because I was her babysitter (I'm not that old though, ok!) and also because she was so full of energy. That energy surged through her first year of teaching. She sparked a love of learning in her fourth grade students that will be remembered. And as with all first year teachers, I am positive her class will be special to her and her year at SMCA will not quickly be forgotten!}

{O... (lots to OFFER)... SMCA has always had so much to offer. That's what it's such a bummer it is closing. The teachers, as you can see from this alphabet list have gone above and beyond to make sure that SMCA students receive the best education possible!!!}

{P... (Pre-School~Mrs. K)... I can honestly say that Mrs. K was quite the pre-school teacher. I know this because she was the pre-school teacher during the years that I taught kindergarten. I was always so impressed with the knowledge that my students came with into kindergarten. She is kind, patient, and much similar to Mary Poppins (as student council tagged her a few years back) ...prim, proper, organized, clean, and always has a few tricks in her bag!}

{Q...(Quality Teacher~Mindy)...Over this past year, I have gotten to know Ms. B. What I have learned is that she is incredibly talented in the ideas that she comes up with for pre-school and kindergarten! This year was not her first go round at SMCA for Ms. B. She too found SMCA and came back for more, and even sent her kiddos there this year! She truly is a quality teacher!}

{R...(Red Head~Andrea)... Mrs. L is one of a kind, much like that red hair of hers! Not only was she a pre-k and kindergarten helper, she was also our librarian. The kids love her friendly, laid back personality and being a librarian is the perfect job for her. This lady loves to read!!! She has creative ideas that have been illustrated in the classrooms over the past few years!)}

{S... (Special Education~Mr. M)...Though I do not know Mr. M, I know that he took on the job of helping teachers, parents, and students with the special education program. Such a job takes patience and understanding of kids! I've heard he was always in a good mood and enjoyed joking with the kids, especially about "new math!"}

{T... (Teddy Bear~Brandy)... Any of you who know Ms. Brandy know that she is sweet as can be! Joining the SMCA pre-school group brought out her even softer side! Seeing that tall lady with those little kiddos was always a pleasure. They had a way of making her heart melt and they all adored her gentle ways! She gives the best hugs, like a teddy bear.}

{U...(UNIQUE)... Students and teachers will scatter to many different places in our community, but the unique love and memories from SMCA will never be matched!}
{V... (Versatile~Ms. Meaner!!!)... If there was ever a woman to wear many hats, it was Ms. M! Though given the title of "classroom aid" and "lunch room boss" Ms. Meaner ;) is much more than an aid in the classroom. Above all, Ms. Meaner gives tough love. She knows how to show a tough side when she needs to and a tough side when she needs to. Ms. Meaner has given her life to SMCA, sending a child through there, helping with special ed, subbing, cleaning, organizing, bulletin board decorating, idea helping, friend to vent to, etc. Ms. Meaner taught SMCA students almost everything they know about their manners in the lunchroom. If manners were being used, she let the kiddos know. If they were not being used, she kicked them into gear! Ms. Meaner is one multi-tasking lady!}

{W... (Whitnie)...I can think of few others who have devoted more time and energy to SMCA. Mrs. P has worked day and night to be able to perfect lesson plans, but also to run the SMCA student council. Mrs. P was also our IT girl and she kept track of the entire school's data...a big enough job for one person the entire year with nothing else on his or her plate! Though our school was small, Mrs. P. always made sure that her events were big. At times in the year when all teachers are stressed with middle and end of the year things, Mrs. P also had to work on Christmas Programs and Spring Fling events. You could never tell by her productions that she was stressed, but man oh man did she lose sleep in her years there! I can often remember thinking I was leaving school late to see her car still parked in the parking lot and light emitting from her classroom. Mrs. P's efforts will never be forgotten. I am positive her students will recognize the hard work and fun they had in her classroom and with student council!}

{X...("eXACTLY" what SMCA needed~Lovely Linda)... Three years ago, Lovely Linda came to SMCA. This retired and experienced teacher was the perfect addition to SMCA...she was EXACTLY what the school needed. This lovely lady never has a negative word to say about anything, wears the best smile in town, makes yummy food for all of the staff, and just spreads her love to students, parents, and teachers in a way that we all need. SMCA was so lucky when we snagged her up and she will always be remembered for her beautiful kindness!} 
{Y... (Young Love~Kaitlyn)... This year, little Ms. Meaner joined the SMCA staff! She helped in the classroom with kiddos, worked to maintain the peace in the cafeteria, and cleaned the school. Kaitlyn joined SMCA staff because of her "young love" for SMCA! In her short time there, she has spread that beautiful smile around and around and has been an example for the many students that love and look up to her!}

{Z... (Mary Anne~Mrs. Z) This lady has been in charge of extended care since I can remember! This has been such a big help to those parents who have to work late or have special things to do after school! :)   

I will forever and always love SMCA and the kiddos from there! Many lucky schools are lucky to receive SMCA kiddos!}

Of course, I did not list all the amazing people who have contributed years in the past. Like the one and only Deanne (Mrs. S) that SMCA was blessed to have teach kindergarten for eight years...always in our hearts! There were many awesome principals like Kim (Mrs. H) and Joyce (Mrs. S). An OCD (haha) organized secretary that we couldn't live without named Lynn (Mrs. B) A dear friend Abbey (Ms. S) who taught with me there for one year. Carol (Mrs. W) who taught P.E. for many years and the Jennifers (Mrs. K & Mrs. J) and Vikki (Mrs. R) who were aids for years as well! Even Eva (Ms. C) who was in charge of Youth Ministry!!! Ms. Shirley who helped with lunch for several years and now Nancy (Naomi's Mom) who helped all of this year in the lunch room! Nancy (Ms. R) who helped with extended care! A few other teachers to come and go Molly (Ms. C) Erin (Mrs. H). And Leah (Ms. C) my best friend who did Kristie's maternity leave! Again, I could not even name all of the teachers, students, and parents who have made an influence on SMCA. The ones I mentioned were a part of MY memories there!

Here are some more familiar faces and others are my favorite teacher pictures! I am going to have a page devoted to the kiddos I taught at SMCA later in the week! 


I've used this quote a million times for goodbyes and in closing, I will use it again...

"You never have to leave a place you love, part of it you take with you and part of you, you leave behind!" Anyone who has been a part of SMCA, leaves behind a large legacy behind!!! 

Happy trails to all of you!!!
 Many blessings to my SMCA family! 
Know that wherever you are, you are in my heart!!! 

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