My wife & I have always been proud of our daughter. Like most parents, with their own children we took pride in all of her childhood milestones from first footsteps, to first words to learning to ride a bike to first day of school. She did some rather special things growing up including learning how to ride a unicycle to hiking the Grand Canyon down & back in one day while having been on antibiotics for only 24 hours for step throat, but that was just the beginning.
She always managed to win the hearts of her teachers throughout her elementary, middle school, and even high school years. While young for her grade, she demonstrated maturity and wisdom well beyond her years. This past Sunday, she graduated from Concord High School as 1 of the 7 valedictorians who achieved straight A’s for all 4 years of high school. While this a very commendable accomplishment in itself, I was equally impressed with the capability and wisdom she demonstrated in her speech to a group of 240 students and 1000+ family members and friends in attendance. That is more people than most of us have ever spoken to at one time!
I was also very impressed with the thought that went into her speech and that she recognized Lisa Brooks, her former field hockey coach of 2 years and now school Athletic Director who she was an aid for for 2 more years.
While Madeline is certainly a very bright young lady, her talk reminded me of the importance of also being coachable and teachable. Without these qualities, much academic wisdom can be wasted. No matter what your IQ or GPA is, you can always choose to learn from others who know more or who have had more experience than you.
It is important to to also be willing to teach others and share what you know with those trying to learn. Without a teacher there are no students. While most of us are not formal teachers, we still have opportunities to help others. No matter how much you think you don’t know about something, there is always someone at least 1 step behind you who can benefit from what you do know!
Thank you Coach Brooks for your investment in our kids at Concord High School and especially in Madeline! It is because you cared enough to share and teach that girls like Madeline can achieve so much!