Although I was never enrolled in her class, the best teacher I have ever encountered taught me an enormous amount. She was my daughter's fifth-grade teacher and I know that my child became a better person by being in Lisa's class. However, I was unprepared for the impact that this very extraordinary woman's lessons would have upon my own life.
My daughter and I both learned the following:
1) Character is important. A vital part of being excellent is being good.
2) Do your homework and show up ready to think.
3) The first person to whom you are accountable is yourself.
4) Failure is not the part where you fall down, but the part where you choose not to get back up.
5) Part of intelligence is knowing what to ignore.
6) Nobody was ever well-served by being kept from the truth.
7) Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.
8) It's not supposed to be easy.
9) Showing respect is a sign of strength.
10) Education is a continual process. It is not a degree or a designation but a path.
So, today, on her birthday and in honor of the upcoming end of this school year and the bright, new horizon that is next year, I would like to thank Lisa for her consistent efforts to expect her students atto face every battle with wit, courage, intelligence and wisdom. I would like to express my appreciation for her help in transforming a quiet, compliant child into an independent thinker and someone who knows her worth.
I do not know how Lisa does it. She spends a year immersed in the powerful experience of transforming minds and then passes those children along to someone else's care. It is an accelerated version of the parental role. So, as a parent, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the magnanimity and grace with which she has handled this task.
Lisa, you have been a gift to our community and, on this anniversary of the day you were born, I wish for you the gift of knowing the enormity of the difference you have made in the lives of Reston families.