Educators leave lasting impression

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

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A story in the midweek Messenger featured a trio of sisters.

The former Tara, Erica and Lisa Parker have returned to Boyd ISD as a counselor, coach and PE teacher, respectively.

It was a challenge keeping up with these three bubbly, intelligent and articulate ladies, but it was fun to witness the bond between them.

An ability to relate to them made the visit even more pleasant.

Erika Pedroza

Erika Pedroza

I do not have a sister, much less work with one. But I could empathize with the girls when they mentioned the dynamic of working with teachers who once taught them.

Although I do not work in the school district, my job puts me in frequent contact with my teachers – having attended Decatur schools from pre-kindergarten through graduation and now treading those same grounds as a reporter.

In fact, just this week I interviewed my third-grade teacher’s husband, Davey Edwards, for a feature on the impressive drawings he sketches on his son’s lunch bags. (Stay tuned…)

I often run into his wife, Sonja, around town – at Little Dribblers basketball games she referees or at local eateries. She never fails to comment on the most recent article I’ve written.

I’m not sure if she realizes it or not, but it was her class that made me a published writer.

In a unit on storytelling, I wrote a tale about the adventures of my younger cousin, Kassie, and I. I was so proud of that mistake-laden piece of writing, and she recognized that.

She provided me with a blank, bound mini-book in which I transcribed the story, and I presented it to Kassie as a birthday gift. I clearly remember the glossy white cover with “Kassy and me” – each letter written with a different neon-colored marker. (Yes, I misspelled my cousin’s name on the very book I wrote about her.)

Fear not, journalism friends. I have since learned the importance of asking for name spellings, then asking again.

Tara, Erica and Lisa remarked on the struggle they had transitioning from student to colleague among their teachers. I agree. It feels a little weird to work with former educators.

But any awkwardness that may present itself is easily negated by the unwavering support and encouragement they provide, simply by saying they keep up with me via my work in the paper.

So the next time I run into you – Rayanna (Mosley) Terrell, Kris Tamplen, Mrs. Edwards, Donna Reeves, Eva Ray Tindol, Debbie Boatright, Carolyn Rhea, Cathy Bennett, Cindy Berry, Teresa Powell, Susanne Parker, Terry Stewart – disregard my awkward smile in response to the encouraging words you never cease to share.

Tara, Erica and Lisa each credited the impact of their educators as influencing their career paths.

Same goes for my teachers.

Erika Pedroza is a reporter for the Messenger.

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