Most girls who get pregnant at 16 and drop out of high school never dream that "school" can ever be something for their futures. However, my mom was not most people.
Yes, she was 16 when I was born.
Yes, she chose me over her high school education.
And yes, she eventually went back and got her GED.
But her story did not end there.
She did not just empower me to become the educator I am today, but she became one right alongside me.
In fact just weeks before her death in 2013, she retired from 20 years of service to Texas public schools.
She worked for several years as a consultant at several different Regional Education Service Centers throughout Texas.
She worked almost as many years as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Secretary to the Board of Trustees.
But she ended her career doing what I get to do every single day....in Professional Development.
There is a Professional Development event every summer in Lovejoy ISD known as Learning@Lovejoy and it exists because of my mom. In fact, because her indelible fingerprints could be seen on the lives and classroom practices of so many educators even after she was gone, Lovejoy ISD created an award in her honor the school year after she was taken from us.
In September 2013 my dad and I were honored to get to stand and shake the hand of each educator who was given the "Dee Rogers Memorial Professional Development" Award, and each autumn after that first night, another group of educators has had this award bestowed upon them.
I received an email this week announcing the 4th Annual Presentation of the Dee Rogers Memorial PD Award and my heart just ached.
It ached because I was reminded that it was not just our family that lost someone irreplaceable on June 24, 2013, but it was an entire educational community. Her touch can still be felt in Lovejoy ISD and beyond, but it saddens me that her impact must only be felt posthumously. It's just not right....
I am so very grateful for a community that recognizes and celebrates her impact every single year. What an incredible testament to who she was.
I want to be just like her when I grow up.