Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FIVE CHEERS; A Super Student

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FIVE CHEERS; A Super Student

Article excerpt

One of the great joys in the underpaid profession of teaching is to see one of your students blossom.

So Joanne Ragans, a retired teacher, sent this e-mail after reading about Reuben Brigety II, a Sandalwood grad with a resume that won't quit. He is now a deputy assistant secretary of state.

"Ten years had passed when I saw my former eighth-grade U.S. history student standing outside my classroom door.

"I waved for him to come in and we exchanged hugs. He told me he had come to Landmark Middle School to find two of his teachers he'd had at Sandalwood - the band director and me.

"My current eighth-graders watched this handsome, tall young man walk in with that military poise and could easily recognize that he was someone special.

"After he left they said, 'Who was that, Mrs. Ragans?' "

"I smiled proudly as I told them, 'That was one of the smartest people you will ever lay eyes on in your lifetime, and I knew he was a genius when he was your age."

GOOD AND BAD NEWS ON BEACH

Good news from the recent cleanup from Keepers of the Coast in St. Augustine Beach - the beaches aren't that messy.

Bad news is that they still picked up about 4,500 cigarette butts that had washed up on the beach, reports Billy Zeits. To keep it interesting, they set up a contest for the person who could pick up the most. Prizes were awarded for those who did the most of the dirty work.

They also had about 25 volunteers who helped with the cleanup and set up education stations for the marine conservation nonpofit.

PRAISING STUDENTS

Candace Watts of Orange Park praised the recent Times-Union features on high school seniors who overcame obstacles in life. Here is her e-mail:

"What uplifting stories about wonderful seniors. These kids deserve to be recognized, as do all the teachers that have been such a great part of their lives.

"I have a 4-year-old who has the most wonderful preschool teacher in the world. Not only has she taught them the basics of reading and writing, she has taught them such great lessons about life. …

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