Let’s Get Together – October 3, 2012

A big fire destroyed Building One. I am still without an office. I lost many precious things, personal and professional. People ask me, “How are you doing Mr. Laurance?” and I have to say…, “pretty darn good”. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Parents. Your support during the last two weeks has been fantastic. You came the Saturday after the fire to help with the cleanup, your donations of food and time made our picnic a big success. Parent Advisory is doing a great job planning Fright Night. Ms. Martin totally took charge of Picture Day, Mr. Bello made the 3rd grade entrance look great and Mr. Verduzco built a great spot for the 3rd grade backpacks. What a great group you are!
  2. Kids. You made me feel so supported with your cards and hugs and smiles. I will never forget the kind things you said to me during and after the fire. More importantly, you are working hard in the classroom in spite of the difficult circumstances. That makes me really happy!
  3. Teachers. So many of you have stepped up to help make this situation the best it could be. Ms. Brooke-Wilke lost her room and many of her materials but she has not missed a beat. Off she goes across the parking lot to the Center with her students in tow! Coach had to move, Mr. Getter is cramped into the back corner of the library, there is no copier, no lunchroom, I could go on, but I won’t. Beechwood teachers, these extraordinary professionals, just keep moving forward, doing this important work and modeling resilience for our kids.
  4. Ms. Gallagher and the third grade. Her first year as a teacher and this happens! Imagine coming to school and seeing that your classroom and everything inside of it is gone. It has been hard for her and her class but together they are making it work. I am so proud of Ms. G and her students. They have built a beautiful community and are an inspiration to us all! You’ve got a friend in me!
  5. Mr. Lopez. I love this guy! He works so hard every day and now he has many new projects on top of all of that. Through it all he keeps smiling and thinking of others.
  6. The Anderson/Christopherson Clan. Talk about stepping up in our time of need. Marilyn and Melinda and Jeff and the extended “first family” of Beechwood worked overtime to get the school up and running just 4 days after the fire. Amazing!
  7. Chris and the Cleo Eulau Center. I thank them for providing emotional support for students and teachers (and Principals!) who are feeling overwhelmed during this challenging time. The counselors have provided us with comfort and hope.
  8. Ms. Jimenez. It would be so easy for her to be discouraged. She lost so much including her brand new computer with all of her important forms on it. She has remained positive and hopeful. I am so impressed with her ability to adapt and keep on keeping on.
  9. My family. Each night I come home and get to be with my loving wife, Margaret, and my youngest daughter, Charlotte. I even occasionally get a supportive text from Emily who is in college!
  10. Generous Donors. Thousands and thousands of dollars are flowing into Beechwood School from all over the local area and across the country. We are also receiving needed materials and computers. Not having to worry about money and materials during this time has made a huge difference for me.

I won’t lie. This fire has been a trying time for Beechwood and I have had my own personal struggles over the last couple of weeks. But I refuse to call it a “disaster”. Instead, I see it as a challenge that our amazing community is equipped to overcome. This life…what a wild ride! I am so glad to be riding with all of you wonderful people.

– Mr. Laurance