By Rusty Rae • Of the News-Register • 

Letter to Readers: A poignant reminder, found in a Post-it note

I’m one of the luckiest guys in McMinnville.

As a photographer and sometime writer for the News-Register I’ve have the privilege to visit every school in our readership area — from Willamina to Dayton, Yamhill-Carlton to Amity, Sheridan to McMinnville, and assorted middle schools and elementary schools in between.

I’ve been blessed to see educators in all of these schools helping children become better citizens, learn about themselves, and challenge themselves to become better each day in all areas of their young lives.

I was over at McMinnville High School last week making photographs of the students in the Lions’ Leos program. They were stuffing plastic Easter eggs for an upcoming hunt. I was led to their room by one of the Lion leaders who had been to the bowels of the high school many times and knew the way.

It was way over there; Mac High School can seem Pentagon-esque to someone who doesn’t visit regularly. I know where the gym is and, with the help of staff, can find other classrooms.

But on this occasion, I didn’t drop breadcrumbs to find my way back to the parking lot. So I was wandering the halls like some freshman looking for the cafeteria on his first day at the school.

It’s pretty trippy, honestly. I love to see kids growing into adults. As you all will remember, it is a pretty amazing process.

I’d been in the original section of the high school and am doing my best imitation of a mouse in a maze when I came across this door. I loved the two posters on the door and the quotes on them. It made me smile that kids are seeing that kind of inspiration.

And then my eyes fell on this Post-It note.

“Dear Mrs. E, I just wanted to thank you …”

That note is one of the reasons teachers come to work every day — good, bad, or ugly.

I’m sure this occurrence is echoed at each school — perhaps not daily — but knowing the quality of teachers around the county — with some level of regularity.

And we should all be so proud of what every teacher does each and every day: inspiring our kids to become their better selves.

Rusty Rae

Reporter and photographer


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