Sunday, February 3, 2013

"I'll Take Paige!"

Janet States passed away on Monday at the age of 74.  Mrs. States was Paige's 2nd grade teacher and our family loved her dearly.  What made her special was her kindness, she embodied it.  Mrs. States stayed in touch with Paige and our family through sweet notes and never missed sending us a Christmas card.  

When Mrs. States had only been Paige's teacher for two weeks I invited her to Paige's baptism (with a bit of reluctance about mixing school and church events even though I knew she was LDS).  Her quick response that she wouldn't miss it for the world was genuine.   

When Liz Semichy and I were reminiscing about Mrs. States today I learned a new story.  This narrative is a small thing, but in terms of our family history quite meaningful.  

Liz recalled a Almaden Country School meeting the day after Andie's 8th grade graduation.  Before Andie's graduation we'd decided that we'd move all the kids out of ACS for the following school year.  While it had been an idyllic year at ACS, it WAS a private school and hard to justify the tuition with good public schools where we'd bought our home.  

But, the ACS graduation ceremony was so inspiring Brent and I both felt sick about our decision to pull Paige and Webb out of the nurturing ACS environment.  

Despite our change of heart, we hadn't registered for the next school year so when Brent asked Steve Hayden (right after the graduation) about returning, the odds didn't look good.  Even if they had room in 6th grade for Webb, the school was at capacity for 2nd grade.  Basically there was no room for Paige. 

Well, two days later we got a call from the school office noting that they would make it work.  We enthusiastically (and quickly) re-enrolled.  

What I hadn't know until today, what Liz Semichy shared, is that at the faculty meeting the day after graduation our situation came up.  The staff noted how we'd been so impressed with the graduation that we regretted our decision to leave the school.  It was thrown out in the discussion probably more as a moral boost for the teachers, a we-think-we-made-mistake-choosing-to-leave-this-wonderful-school cautionary tale.  

Liz said when the school delivered the message of how impressed we were but that the 2nd grade classrooms were full, Mrs. States didn't hesitate, speaking up to say, "Well, I'll take Paige!"  

So, Mrs. States willingness as a teacher to take on an extra student must have been the catalyst for our ability to return to ACS.  I'm grateful to Liz for sharing the story because it's just another confirmation that Mrs. State's small gestures had an even greater impact on our lives than we knew at the time!