Yesterday, I walked to school with Rachel. Most of the time I only get to go to the corner because she is a big girl and she knows to stop and look for cars. Today, I had some cards and gifts to give out so I was allowed the privilege of walking into the building. I saw her third grade teacher, Ms. Reed, who was one of the best teachers I have known. She is tough and loving. She was our first teacher at Scarborough. She taught Rachel to love the Kansas Jayhawks to the chagrin of her Hog-loving parents. However, Rachel will say it is KU unless the Hogs are playing. She knows who buys those Sonic cards! Ms. Reed also had high expectations. She believed that Rachel “could” and she set the bar high. To this day, Rachel’s favorite reward is to go help in Ms. Reed’s classroom. Ms. Reed is now part of Rachel’s World because that’s how it is when we meet you: we just pull you through life with us. I had a card for Ms. Reed thanking her for her role when we moved here, and I found myself teary. Not teary with sadness but teary with gratefulness. Truly, I had no idea what Scarborough Elementary and Olathe Schools would hold. I had heard good things. I had done my due diligence and it seemed like a good fit. The tone was set the day we met the principal, Ms. Craig (now Mrs. Veatch).
While house hunting our realtor, Carolyn Stewart, thought we should stop by the school. School was not in session and it was a ho t July day. Carolyn had been a teacher at Scarborough, and she was convinced that it was a good match for Rachel! We found the principal, Ms. Craig, and she showed us around. She said the right things. She was positive and inviting. She sent me an email shortly after saying she had already thought about who would be the best teacher for Rachel if we decided to buy in Scarborough’s boundaries. That is the kind of attitude we have felt from her for three years now. We found a resource teacher in Mrs. Gad who shared high expectations. She was willing to answer emails in the middle of the night. She has gone the extra mile to play piano for talent shows and auditions and attend all kinds of Rachel activities. She has two small children who have joined on that journey. She didn’t have to do any of that. It isn’t in her job description but it tells you a lot about her character and what she is teaching her own children. In Scarborough we have found a place where inclusion is the norm and not the exception.
We did decide to settle near Scarborough partly because we believed that the visit with the principal on that hot July day was a message from God. My tears are tears of gratitude to school staff, to friends, and to God for providing this a good fit for our family. Tears of gratitude to a realtor who went beyond her job and has become a friend to our family and a “Friend of Rachel”.
NOTE: Today’s picture is of Rachel’s first day at Scarborough with Ms. Craig. Yesterday’s picture was Rachel with Mrs. Veatch on promotion day.