Dear Brave One,

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To all of the staff at G. Stanley Hall, my time with you has been sweet and I wrote this one just for you.

Be of good cheer.
Have courage, you brave one, you.
This job is not for wimps.
Not for the faint of heart.
And you can’t be too serious either.
Even when some of our “friends” aren’t acting like friends, you still show up and commit.
You wipe, braid, brush, and hug.
You console, encourage, strengthen, and challenge.
You’re a para,
a custodian,
a psychologist,
a counselor,
a nurse,
a teacher,
a principal,
a librarian,
a speech pathologist,
a special education beast.

You grab the walkie-talkie and call for backup.

Your team comes running, even right off of bathroom breaks.
You’re loyal.
You have to be.
They’re counting on you.
You meet for hours over one student–working to bring them back to a place of winning.
You get frustrated.
It shows.
You regain your composure, shake it off, and keep running.

This is your glitter.
This is your anointing.
This is your calling.
They need you.
And you need them.
You’re imperfect.
You’re flawed.
But doggone it, you’re trying.
And you get points for that.

Police come.
They leave.
They come back again two days later.
It’s tough.
But it’s worth it.
The bite marks eventually fade away.
And so does your anger.

You gag at their cafeteria concoctions.
They gloat ‘cuz they got you.
They grow.
They learn.
They gain hope.
More hope.
They look into your eyes and know that you mean business.
You believe in them.
And you’re expecting more.
You laugh about their quirky ways and funny phrases.
And their laugh fuels your joy.

The light in their eyes inspires you.
The light in your eyes inspires them.

They laugh at old jokes because they’re new to them.
And when that light comes on that shows you that they got it….
Nothing. Feels. Better.
You need them.
They need you.
This is your calling.
This your anointing.
They’re glad you’re here.
And they’re hungry for more.

GSH Family, I’m grateful for my time with you all and I wish you nothing but the best. You’re warriors and I’m honored to have served with you.

With Gratitude,
Miss Karissa Denae Johnson

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