Last March, I had the unique privilege to meet the renowned author and poet, Maya Angelou, prior to her speaking to a large audience of educators. Undoubtedly, Dr. Angelou is an American treasure! She began her speech with a song of hope and gratitude: "When it looked like the sun wouldn't shine anymore; God put a rainbow in the cloud. It's not just that we have rainbows in the sky," she explained, "but in the clouds themselves. So, even when it seems as though the storm won't let up, we have something there to encourage us." Dr. Angelou then told this large body of teachers that they, too, are "rainbows in the clouds" for the children they teach.
As I reflect back on my life, the brightest rainbows in the clouds for me are past teachers. I was fortunate to have the same kindergarten and first grade teacher, Mrs. Bennett, a wonderful teacher and truly a rainbow in my life. Mrs. Schoof was as loving and kind a teacher that I've ever known. Miss Pratt was firm and demanding, but inspired within me a love of literature, which has stayed with me throughout my life. I've had so many teachers who are rainbows in the clouds.
As we begin this school year, I encourage each of our teachers and support professionals to find opportunities to be rainbows in the clouds for students. You are in a unique position to inspire, build, encourage, and lift young people. Please try to recognize those children whose lives may be storm-ravaged and then become a rainbow in their cloud.
I want to thank each of you for your commitment to educating young people. The Weber School District is filled with caring adults who are rainbows in the clouds for our students. You make a difference with each word of encouragement and expression of hope.