If you follow our blog, you know that CIS has been asking caring adults to think back to when they were young and in school and recall that caring adult they felt especially connected to. Maybe it was in elementary school, or perhaps it was middle or high school. Who is that special person, that, even after all these years, they still carry within their hearts?
Today, we are excited to share a letter written by one member of the passionate, talented, and dedicated team who infuse Edison Environmental Science Academy with hope, love, and learning.
Dear Mr. Blink,
Many people do not believe I was ever a shy person. Thirty six years ago, you had that shy 7th grader in your social studies classroom and on your volleyball team. My brother was a star football player at the high school, breaking all sorts of records. I was known as “Dean’s little sister” or “little Sharick.” I was 12, trying to figure out who I was, what I stood for, and who my friends were.
Honestly, I don’t remember you doing anything particularly special just for me, but you made me feel special, gave me my own voice and always called me by my first name. You allowed me to be a typical 7th grade girl – moody and well, a 7th grade girl. You would talk about choosing friends wisely and being true to yourself. As an adult and an educator, I now see that you took every advantage of “teachable moments.” By the time I started 8th grade, I was a new person, no longer as shy, knowing who I was (at least as much as a teenager can), and chose my friends wisely. Most of my best friends are friends of 30+ years!
Thank you for taking this shy, 12 year old under your wing and allowing me to fly. You were an integral part of my decision to become a teacher. I hope I have made a difference in my students’ lives just as you have mine.
Thank you so much,
Julie (Sharick) McDonald, M.A.Principal Edison Environmental Science Academy Kalamazoo Public Schools
And, if you haven’t yet had a chance to read the Story of Success within our freshly published annual report, take a few minutes to learn how KPS Principal Julie McDonald, her fabulous teaching staff, CIS staff, and other caring adults are helping Johnny succeed. Hint: To address the needs of the whole child, it often takes more than one person, one organization or resource. Johnny identifies a number of caring adults that have empowered him and gives a special shout out to: The Kalamazoo Promise®, Friday Food Packs (made possible thanks to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes), First Day Shoe Fund, the Edison School Based Health Center (staffed by Family Health Center), Open Roads, and WMU College of Aviation. These last two resources are offered as part of CIS after school programming funded through the Michigan Department of Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers You can find it all here.