Like so many of her young teacher friends at Chets, Elizabeth has taught her entire career at the Creek. She came as a young single teacher and then married and had two children. We watched and celebrated each of those landmarks. This young group of teacher friends have shared many things - pregnancy thrills and challenges, suggestions for soothing colicky babies, what to do about children's asthma and allergies, birthday parties... They have met as a mommy play group since the first babies were born, even through the summer. Now they are working on Round Two babies. Last year Elizabeth welcomed her second child and first daughter, Baby Kate. Almost immediately, there was a problem and Kate was eventually diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy. Through the diagnosis of this genetic disorder, it was also discovered that the gene is carried by both Elizabeth and her father. Through their heartache and pain, Elizabeth and her husband Dave searched for answers. Last night their strong families and many friends came together to celebrate the answer- a cure through money for research.
Many of Elizabeth's Chets Creek family were there - young teachers with their husbands, babies, toddlers and preschoolers in tow along with Principal Susan Phillips. As we celebrated, we cried, we laughed and we joined in the family's hope for a cure! As I watched our little group of young moms and dads with their precious children, it was a looking glass into the future of Chets Creek. Some of these moms have stepped out of the teaching force to be stay-at-home moms. Some have returned to teach part-time. Others have never left teaching and one even came with a new foster child last night but the one thing they all have in common is that they have a heart for children and they all want their own children at a school like Chets Creek when the time comes. They know the school from the inside out and even with its flaws, they want their children to have the opportunities that are offered there. I think it is these strong, deep relationships that these teachers have with each other that are characteristic of a high performing school. It is just so reaffirming to me as I watch these moms rally around Elizabeth and her hope for the future because what we want for Kate is what we want for each of our little ones - as her mother said through her tears last night, "we want her to dance" - to learn and to find meaning and happiness. Happy Birthday, little Kate! May we be there for all of your birthdays... as you celebrate the cure!