May 16, 2013

Letter: The lives we change

This week is teacher appreciation week, a time when we give special recognition to those who often are not recognized enough.

I was blessed to have wonderful teachers all the way through school. Even the ones I “didn’t care for” were great. (Of course, this was something I didn’t realize until I was an adult.)

But there was one teacher, in particular, who not only educated me, she helped me become the kind of teacher I am today.

Mrs. Leisa Smith, or as her “journalism babies” so fondly called her, “Beloved Mentor,” was not your average teacher. There was a quality that she possessed that made her one of a kind.

Mrs. Smith was a Christian.

In a society where often teachers feel like their faith has to be kept under wraps in fear of offending someone and losing their job, Mrs. Smith proudly wore her Christian faith. No, she didn’t read the Bible aloud to her classes; she didn’t lead the class in prayer. She displayed her faith through her actions. She walked the walk. And by her walk, she showed her students the model of a true Christian.

After high school (Go Raiders!), Mrs. Smith and I stayed in touch. I usually would make an annual visit to the school to see her and catch her up on the latest news in my life. Occasionally, the news was too exciting, so an email or phone call was necessary. That was the case when I landed my first teaching position.

Mrs. Smith passed away in October 2009.

Mrs. Smith taught me an important lesson that I carry with me today: Being a great teacher isn’t about the lessons we teach, it’s about the lives we change.

“Happy trails,” Beloved Mentor.

Kristen M. Douglas

Spanish/ESOL teacher

Coahulla Creek High School


Text Only
  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014