The power of believing in our students
In 2011, Julian Flores was a senior at Overland High School who had just received the Dr. Monte C. Moses Scholarship. Born in Mexico, Flores began his journey with Cherry Creek Schools at Village East Elementary. His first-grade teacher, Dr. Sandy Mason, shares her memories of working with a dedicated and inspirational AVID student.
“I recognized his potential, and my belief in his promising attributes inspired me as his teacher to push him to excellence. At the end of that school year, I gave him and all my students a personal note of “encouragement” that expressed my sincerest belief in his academic possibilities and talents. It was a simple handwritten note (with the graphic of a graduate walking into the horizon). It was written with love and in hope. For inspiration. I did this ritual annually for all my students throughout my career. I’ve always believed that a handwritten note holds power and bears great meaning for those we behold.”
When Dr. Mason became the district AVID director, she stayed in touch with Flores during his time at Prairie and Overland. At the 2011 Foundation luncheon, Dr. Mason was delighted that not only did Flores remember her, he pulled her handwritten note and read it to the audience.
“I was needless to say, exuberant and deeply humbled at such a tender moment for me as an educator. From first grade to twelfth grade, he shared with eloquence to the audience that he had kept the note all those years and read its words often.”
Dr. Mason shared that she is so appreciative of the Foundation and values its dedication to celebrating students and their families with honor, recognition, and financial support that propels their accomplishments.
“I can say in a teacher’s life journey, this was a hallmark moment in one’s career, as we hope to make a difference in a student’s life, but sometimes there’s no evidence of it,” said Dr. Mason. “You just have to have hope and believe those well-intentioned efforts bring self-love and accomplishment.”