Black History Heroes, 3rd Edition – February 24, 2016

Black History Month has turned out to be a true team effort here at Beechwood. Our display in the lobby has contributions from Mrs. Connolly, Mr. Getter, Coach Hughes, Mr. Auzenne (Jala’s dad) and Ms. Jenkins (Aaliyah’s mom). Be sure to stop in and see the cool artifacts, interesting quotes and even some uniforms from the Negro Baseball League.

On Friday we will have our first ever, parent-organized Black History program. Please see the attached flyer and thank you to all the parents, teachers and kids who are working on this project.

This week’s contribution to our series, “Black History Heroes”, comes from Beechwood alumna, Beechwood teacher and Beechwood parent, Konstance Kirkendoll. Her contribution puts an interesting twist on the idea of a hero. Sometimes the people who inspire us are a part of the community that we grow up in. Thank you Ms. K for recognizing a great African American woman that all of us love and respect.

As we take this month to reflect on our culture and history as a people, I’m honored to be a part of sharing about who has inspired me with my Beechwood family. In my opinion, a hero is someone who sparks the interest within another; they incite action to do something positive for themselves and others. While many heroes are distant, untouchable figures that many aspire to meet one day, my hero just so happens to be a beloved member of our family.

Around middle school, many young girls have the tendency to move away from subjects like science and mathematics while gravitating toward the arts. That wasn’t my path as I thoroughly enjoyed dissecting animals, learning about cells, problem solving, etc. While concepts like these came easily to me, I believe that with any subject, a key to what holds a child’s attention is a great teacher. I was fortunate to have that as a student here at Beechwood.

I knew her as Ms. Hamilton, but these days she goes by Mrs. Taylor. I saw her fulfill many roles but this one did it for me. She was an awesome catalyst in sustaining my enthusiasm for math. Along with being personable inside and out of the classroom, she made math understandable. Her style was firm but relatable. However, that’s not it! What’s even more important was she looked like me. I’m not sure of the statistics but I’m pretty sure if you ask any successful black person about their mentors, they would mention an older successful black figure. Unbeknownst to her, she sparked not only the love of math within me but also the desire to give back and become a teacher.

While I still have a way to go to become the teacher I desire to be, I am thankful that I was able to have a real life hero so close to shape my views on how to do it successfully. I am where I am today in part because of her influence. #Grateful

Thank you Mrs. Taylor! You have helped me in more ways than you could ever imagine. You truly are my hero…

Beautiful words, Ms. K. Thank you for your contribution and for all you do for the Beechwood community.

-Mr. Laurance