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This butterfly was passed on to me by my dear friend, Katherine, on my 65th birthday. She is a beautiful retired teacher who exemplifies giving love and sharing kindness with her students, colleagues, and friends. She is an inspiration of what a teacher should always be.

As I celebrate my 40th year in education and my retirement, I am passing her butterfly on to a very loving and kind principal who gives of her heart in everything she does as she deals with children, teenagers, parents and staff. At the beginning of this school year she challenged all of our school population to “Love Your People”. She has had a very positive affect on our school, and, in turn, our world. I am so very thankful for leaders like her and for opportunities she gave me to “Love My People.”

A student of mine with many personal obstacles, including homelessness, just graduated from high school. In one of our last text messages he text to me, “Thank you for all of your kindness, the work, and most importantly, your nagging.” Isn’t it wonderful that a student would consider “nagging” a kindness? This is a result of the opportunity my principal gave me to "Love Your People."

So, Heidi, as you travel through your journey in education (and life), may you continue to inspire others to always be kind. Your kindness changes our world and makes it a better place. I know that you have forever touched my life and helped me to be a better person. Thank you!

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