As usual Nick was the first of his six grade class to arrive at school. He loved school, it was wonderful. Nick liked how nice it looked, how quiet it could be, how warm it was; for Nick school was a haven, compared to his two bed room house with one bath, six children, his mother and the sometimes three men who shared the house from time to time as their mother’s friend and the father of two of the girls, school was great.
He loved Ms Ann his teacher, she was beautiful, kind, and so very smart. At his home the four girls shared the second bedroom so he and his brother lived on the back porch, closed in with cardboard in the winter and open in the summer. Just a miserable place, always noisy, fights, crying, and the screaming always filled the air. Some people said there was no place like home, Nick knew better, there were a lot of places better than home. Yes school was just like Nick thought heaven would be. He saw her first, Ms Ann as she entered the room, he was ready for the day in fact Nick was ready for the year. He had already read his history book, literature book and science book, yep he was ready. Ms Ann greeted the class and thus another great day had its start.
In the second term of his freshman year his mother had left along with the children, Nick stayed. The utilities were cut off but Nick managed through the warmer days of Spring and with the Summer Mr. Craig had given him a job at the local grocery store. He sold everything he owned and got the utilities turned on, in his mothers name, and thus went the next three years of his life. He heard that his half brother was in the state juvenile system, two of this half sisters were now mothers and the other two had taken off, his mother, who knew, he never saw her again.
There was no one related to him in the audience as he stood to give his honors address, he opened the speech his counselor had approved then looking into the eyes of all in the audience he thanked his 47 class mates for the contributions they had made to his life and then closing the prepared speech he begin one by one calling the names of the 41 teachers and other school employees who had touched his life, pausing to speak a word of gratitude to each one telling some bit of their contribution to his years of school. He thanked Mr. Craig for the job he had provided, referring to him as God’s gift of a grandfather, He looked toward the ceiling of the building and thanked God for keeping him safe and giving him such a wonderful home with 41 parents and one great grandfather in Mr. Craig. The old floor in the gym almost rose from the slab as the tears of a town spilled from the eyes of the audience and everyone stood clapping for him for more than five minutes. It was a night that Little Town would never forget. Teachers Had Made the Difference.