To the one I was so in love with in 4th grade that I got a bowl cut and perm so we could have the same hairstyle.
To the one who (I pray) still reads every word I write, even though she no longer walks the earth.
To the one who taught me how to truly look – and then create the world I wanted to see.
To the one who gave me a role – and then the confidence to be real, even when on a stage.
To the one who believed in me both in the classroom and on the court (and who made me speed walk uphill because it was harder than running).
To the one who gave herself to her students all day, and then continued to give her all to my brother, sister and me at home.
To the one who leaves me in hysterics with her school picture antics, and who expects nothing short of greatness from her students.
To the ones who helped raise me, love me, and taught me what it means to truly care about children.
To the ones who love and teach my son like he is their own.
To the ones who love and teach my daughter like she is their own.
To this day, there have been no more important or impactful people in my life than my teachers, and those of my children.
May my gratitude not be contained to one week out of the year, for you all have given me a lifetime of knowledge, wonder, possibility, compassion, and love.
I am indebted to you.