In just a matter of days, I witnessed community respect for people who make an impact every day in the lives of so many people.
Last Saturday evening, Cathy Whitworth was not only the honoree of this year’s Britton House Roast but was moved (as all of us were) with the attendance of many former students. Probably half or more of those attending stood when asked if they had her as the choral teacher at Buchanan High School. Jeremy Wood, a former student who served as a ‘roaster’ got his humor in. More importantly, he brought the emotions to the front of most of the crowd as he spoke of the influence this special lady had in his choosing to follow his heart for music. He is now a high school music teacher in Texas. Whitworth, in her remarks, thanked her students and I could feel the rapport she had with her students.
Later this week, other students took to the social media to express their love, concern and prayer for another special teacher. Greg Mix, who has staged a battle with cancer, felt that love as “TheMixMovement” hit Twitter, urging all to contact The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share this community exhibit of love and respect.
“This is a ‘regeneration’ of the support the kids showed earlier in the year,” said Dr. Jerry Raines, Troy Buchanan principal. “They want to show they still care for not only their teacher but such a caring person.”
“Please take a minute to get to know an amazing person through the eyes of his past and present students.”- Jean Ponder.
“Troy loves you Mr. Mix.”- Katie St. Pierre.
“I have the craziest goosebumps from these tweets. He is not only a great educator, but a stand up comedian. We all adore him”-Aeran Hubbard.
“Anyone that can inspire my son, is an inspiration to me.”-Cheryl Ann Schramm.
“S/O to the man that taught me to respect and treat everyone the same, more so than anyone I’ve ever met and he lead by example.”-Derek Deters.
By the time you read this, the Twitter site #TheMixMovement will be more fully developed and I imagine will continue to garner more and more attention. I have known Greg for several years and recently was introduced to his son, Clint, who is now a valued member of our staff. I see the same traits have been passed from father to son. I often wonder if I have been worthy of influencing lives and living the life of service to others. Greg, you do not have to wonder. You are loved, admired and have been an asset to the community. My prayers continue and miracles do happen.
In recent months, we hear about the sacrifices of some teachers, most recently the math teacher who took the bullet from a 12-year-old student in order to give time for others to seek safety. Can we forget the six teachers who gave us courage and hope during the shooting at Newtown last December. They gave their lives. Honor your teachers.
By Bob Simmons