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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A special teacher

I don't write much here about William. I respect his privacy as a almost senior in high school, and he doesn't want me to talk a lot about his early years. But the basic facts are that he was originally diagnosed as autistic, later as having Aspergers, and later still as having nothing at all, except being fantastic. He currently has an over 4.0 average, is first in his class, is being recruited by some great colleges, will perform and sing a song this weekend at his school guitar show that he wrote himself---I could go on and on. I am very, very proud of him.

And a huge part of what he is today is thanks to a wonderful, amazing teacher---Amy Gailunas. We had the great good luck of having her for William's second grade teacher at the Henderson School (then the O'Hearn School) the first year he attended there. She saw his potential, saw the best ways to help him and most of all, just plain loved him. She thought he was incredibly cool, which he is, and she celebrated all that was great about him instead of concentrating on the difficult traits. I would write a lot more about that year, but I'll respect William in not doing so. But I wanted to share this link, as Amy is getting a richly deserved award --- here's the link.

A great teacher can change a life in so many ways. Janey currently has two great teachers, and she will have Amy in the future. Tony's 5th grade teacher was the first person to tell him he was smart, and to guide him to apply to Latin School and eventually to get a full scholarship to an Ivy League college---no small thing for the son of immigrants who while being very, very bright people, didn't speak English and had not finished high school. I had some amazing teachers all the way along---Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Reinhardt, Mr. Cooke, Mrs. Oliver, Mr. Glavin, Mr. Marcoux, as well as many more---and I can't say what my life would have been without them.

So a huge thank you to Amy, and to Ms. McCann and Ms. McLaughlin and to all the great teachers out there, past, current or future!

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