It’s hard to believe we’re already facing the last week of school.
Seems like just yesterday that she started elementary school,
and now that light at the end of the tunnel is blaring at me in full effect.
It’s been a truly incredible year!
Katelyn has learned and grown so much over the last 9 months,
and it’s hard to believe she’ll be in Kindergarten next year.
Oh how time flies.

This week there’s lots of celebrating going on as the kids say goodbye for the summer.
The biggest goodbye of all is the unexpected job shift, as their beloved
teacher was not asked to return next year.
She served 17+ faithful years at the school and event created the TK program,
I won’t get into the politics of it all because it only makes me mad,
then sad, then mad again.
The head of school, who has since resigned, made sure his personal agenda was met
as he headed out the door of our school in to a new school next year.

As he blows out the door, he’s left several of the parents seeking answers
to many, many unanswered questions.
But enough about him.
The parents of the TK class have declared this week a celebratory week.
In honor of a teacher who has loved our children this whole year,
and taught them so much about who they are and how Christ sees them.

This week began with a Character Award celebration,
where each child was individually honored.
We all stood with tears in our eyes as Mrs. Mantei spoke blessings over our children,
one by one.
And when it came Katelyn’s turn, she was given the Compassion Award.
I couldn’t have picked it better myself.
And because I want Katelyn to have a place to be able to read these words
she wrote one day, I want to write them here as a keepsake for her.
Here’s what Mrs. Mantei said,

“Katelyn, I have given you the character quality of compassion. Compassion is defined as the sorrow for the distress or misfortunes of others. You told me that you can be described as someone who is loving because your heart is happy. Katelyn, you are aware when others are hurting or are in need and you are the first one to offer help. You even see when I need help and are wiling to do whatever you can to help… even give me a hug. God will use your gift of compassion to accomplish many things for His kingdom. Thank you for being compassionate with our Transitional Kindergarten class this year.”

Even as I type these words, I can feel the tears begin to form again.
I can’t describe the sadness and the gratefulness I feel.
Kyle and I feel so honored to have had such an incredible teacher this year,
and that she so deeply impacted our little girls life.

Mrs. Mantei, we want to say thank you for being who you are,
a strong example of Christ’s love to others.
Thank you for leading our children,
teaching them,
loving them,
and giving them such an incredible school year this year.
Our prayer is that God blesses you ten fold for serving Him
wholly and completely, despite the unexpected turn of events this year.
We love you and this week we celebrate You!

xo, Alissa