Saturday, December 22, 2007


My seventh grade teacher discovered that I am a writer. Thank goodness she shared her discovery with me! I suppose, that eventually, I would have caught on without a teacher's input. But we all need people to believe in us, so having her point it out was a huge gift.

For the two years that I was in her class, I gave back by writing my heart out for that lady. And I transferred her belief in me to every writing assignment in high school and college.

Mrs. Cunningham lives here in Hickory so when BLUE (the story of a 1944 polio epidemic in our town) was published, I sent her a copy.

Then last Christmas she sent me the perfect gift – a donation in honor of BLUE to Alternative Gifts International. Her gift helps mainstream the Congo’s polio victims into that country’s school system.

Wow! I was so touched, that of all the causes she could have given to, she chose polio.

This Christmas season, I received another gift from her. This one benefits Exodus Homes of Hickory (faith based supportive housing for recovering addicts, alcoholics, and formerly incarcerated persons).

Mrs. Cunningham has always been a rare and wonderful person. I can’t even imagine how many lives she has touched with her creative teaching methods and her generous spirit.

I only know that she’s still giving. And I am still writing my heart out for her!


  1. Wow! What a treasure. When I write, I hear the voice of my Senior English Comp teacher in high school. Even 25 years later, that voice jogs around my head, moving the furniture and reminding me to ask questions.

    Teachers are precious.

  2. Yes, they are precious and that includes you.

    I know you are likely finished with teaching now. But take heart - there will be so many opportunities to work with children.

    And someday they will remember your impact on their lives - hopefully you will hear about it!