• For Your First Day of School: An Open Letter (PHOTOS)

    For your first day...




    To the students:
    Make it a great year, young ones! You get this time of your life once...ONCE! Whether in K or in 12, push yourself to be your BEST self.
    South Cobb High School
    Austell, GA
    You will surely want these years back if you find yourself having to settle for the job you REALLY don't want or the college for which you had to settle. The algebra you think you'll never use again may NEVER come back around in your life...but it is CRAZY important now, so go with it! Be fearless in your achievement. Be hungry in your growth. Demand more of your education and your educators. Our mission is to help build YOU!
    American Musical and Dramatic Academy
    Hollywood, CA
    Meet us at the warehouse called "school", "campus", "grounds"...and let us help you make your tomorrow, today...every day.



    To the Class of 2016:



    On this first day of your "final" year, charge yourself with the task of being humble and hungry. Yes, you are currently the "big man or woman on campus" but you will only rock that crown for the next 10 months. You will then find yourself in the freshman class, a rookie, a newbie, a maggot in basic training, or some other lowest on the totem pole name this time next year. So be leaders this year. Mentor a freshman or sophomore in your school. Give your time and tutor a kid in middle or elementary school. Give your community a little of your time and energy. Thank your parents or guardians...daily. And be hungry to continue growing and meeting challenges where they meet you for it all builds character. DON'T COAST to the finish line! Yes, you have made it to this top of this hill...but remember two things: you did not make it alone and it is only a hill.

    Prince George's Community College
    Largo, MD


    Cascadia Community College
    Seattle, WA



    To all the parents:
    Thank you and Congrats on making it through the summer!! I wish I could treat you all to a glass of wine or a shot of Starbucks!
    Make a Wish Foundation
    Seattle, WA

    Thank you for early morning wake ups and the late after school pick ups and the weekend athletic events and the plays (bless her heart...she is 16 playing Lena Younger in "A Raisin In The Sun") and the concerts (bless his heart...his arm ain't even long enough to play the trombone) and the field trips and the glitter and the Elmer's glue and the Crayola crayons because the no name crayons don't color right! You believe in your kids...whether they know it or not. Your faith and trust in us, the teachers, is pure grace. For 13 years, AT LEAST, you share the growth of your children with strangers...people outside of your family...and that is an act of selfless love.

    With my Nephew, Loren
    Atlanta, GA
    Educating your child with a team of people you trust on blind faith is an act of the God in you. Thank you. Simply, thank you.


    To all my fellow educators: 
    Buckle the chin strap and let's make this a great year! No Auto Pilot! No Easy Way! No Path of Least Resistance!!
    Fall 1993, James Madison University
    With my professors/forensics coaches, Audra Colvert McMulllen and C. Lee Mayfield

    Fall 2013
    With C. Lee Mayfield
    I've had those semesters where I was just uninspired. They were quickly squashed by my time OUT of the classroom!



    Challenge yourself and your students will follow!  I love teaching primarily because I love being a student of the world. I raise my glass to my fellow teachers...my fellow students!

    Happy 2015-2016!!
    TDV




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