Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coach O wrote back!

I cannot begin to tell you how much it meant to receive your letter. Your letter found me on a day that I definitely needed a some positive news. I have battled some health issues over the last year. I have a very unique heart condition and had cancer surgery this fall which caused me to miss six weeks of school. As a teacher you understand the difficulties coming back from a six week absence. I felt like I had lost contact with the students. So once again your letter was so wonderful and timely. I received your letter on Monday and on Tuesday I received very good news about my cancer issues.

I am so happy for you. It sounds like you are very happy in Colorado. I would love to meet your daughter some day. Enjoy every minute with her. She will grow up so fast you will absolutely wonder where the time went. Getting married again, wonderful!

Let me tell you what I have been doing. Carol and I moved to Detroit Lakes six years ago. We built a house on a lot Carol had inherited on Little Detroit Lake. We decided to do that after our daughter graduated from high school. I have served Fargo Schools as the History Specialist over the last four years. FPS receive a Teaching American History Grant four years ago ($1,000,000) and I was asked to administer the grant. I taught three classes during the day then I did grant work. The grant has run out of money so this year I am back in the classroom full time. I have been teaching the AP History courses for the last 10 years. We have a very large number of students that take AP European and U.S. History. Though I still enjoy teaching I am planning on retiring this June. I plan to work somewhere but not at North next year. It is a time in my life I need some change and a little less responsibility. I will always have fond memories of the teams and players from North. I have volunteered my time with the Detroit Lakes H.S. volleyball team since we moved to DL. I have enjoyed those kids. Kids are kids wherever you go.

Carol, my wife still teaches elementary physical education in Fargo and will continue to do so for a few more years. Nicholas, our son, just graduated from college in December. He was not prepared for college the first time around but we are very proud of him for going back to school and finishing a degree. Nick also was married last August and lives in West Fargo. Erin, our daughter has been married for three years and lives in Woodbury, MN. She has been teaching in Apple Valley for four years. She also coaches volleyball and their team was second in the state of Minnesota this year.

Anne, I was able to stay in teaching for 35 years because of young people like yourself. You always possessed so much desire to use your talents. You always demonstrated great empathy for teammates and others involved in the program. I am sincerely humbled by your words of kindness. I know after 14 years of teaching you understand how much a teacher benefits from the students and players they work with. I benefited from being associated with you and your teammates. All of you kept me young and determined to do by best. The wonderful benefits of working with young people are the rewards a teacher/coach receives when they receive a letter from a past student/player. I never doubted you would be successful with whatever you chose to do. I sincerely hope we have an opportunity to see each other again. Thank you for writing.
Mr. O

1 comment:

Bob said...

What a wonderful letter and what a reminder to us as teachers how many aspects of our job there are that we often wonder if students remember. When a student does remember us, whether by writing or a casual conversation on the street, it can do a lot to pick up our spirits. Specially us older folks ;-).

I'm touched by his note back to you.