Thursday, June 24, 2010

The end of the school year

We'll start with the last two weeks of school. As I talked about in my last post, we lost one of our seniors about two weeks before graduation. Her name is Jessica Starr and she was in my class for the last three years. Since I teach an elective, if a kid likes the class I tend to keep them for most of their high school career. We travel and do lots of after school stuff so I get really close with these students. This particular student was in the fashion show and had spent a lot of time with me after school gathering supplies and preparing for the show. I took her passing very hard. I was completely exhausted and drained all week. I went to her viewing and then the funeral. It was so painful to not only say goodbye to her and watch her family grieve, but to watch all of my other students grieving knowing there was nothing I could do but be there for them. Just when I thought I couldn't cry about it anymore I'm sitting here in tears while I write this! The funeral was beautiful and it even had some students asking the preacher questions about God and being saved which is always a blessing, especially in hard times. The school excused my class that Jessica was in from taking their final exam. They could take it if they wanted to, but sitting in that room with her empty chair was just too distracting and we were certain poor exam grades would be the result. The last day of class my students were going through old projects and found Jessica's last one. It was a fashion forecast which she did a really good job on. They asked me what to do with it and I just couldn't tell them to throw it away so I let them hang it up. It's still there, her name is on the back so no one knows who it belongs to but me. Graduation was the last hurdle to go through before we could really put this death behind us and move on. Jessica's chair was left empty and her cap and gown were draped there. Everyone wore a silver star over their hearts in remembrance and her brother accepted her diploma. Other than that it was all about the students and it was thankfully not a sad event! I'm still sad about this, but now that summer is here and I'm not in the building anymore I can move on and so can the rest of the school! I'll always remember Jessica fondly and hopefully this is something I will never have to go through again in my career!