Last night was a big night in the RegenAxe household. We went to the school district’s annual awards banquet that was held at the golf clubhouse in Forest Park. Anne was named Citizen of the Year by the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District. She was awarded this honor for personal dedication to the school district and the community at least that is what her plaque says. Actually, I can’t count the number of teachers and administrators that told me how great she is, like I really didn’t already know it and they were telling me something new. Our longtime friend, Nelson, and now school board member presented the award. He extolled the years that she has substitute taught in the district, the years of long-range planning committee work that she has done and her tireless campaigning for numerous school bond issues and tax propositions.
Anne had prepared an acceptance speech that had an Academy Awards theme to it, “Thank you members of the Academy, I mean school district.” This opening line was paired with a closing one that after enumerating her many school accomplishments ended with, “I think that I hear the music, so I’ll get off the stage now.” That was her rehearsed speech, instead she went ad-lib and successfully joked, “I was a street-walker for MRH”, referring to her many tax and bond issue campaigns. She got a lot of laughs with this line.
There were a couple of hundred attendees there. They were all district stakeholders, or like me spouses. Most of them were her fellow teachers. After dinner, the first awards that were handed out were the service awards, for five, ten and fifteen years of district service. Most of the people who received awards, received one of these. Then it was on to the main event, which was followed by recognition of the retiring faculty.
Anne was first up among these main awards. Next came the Volunteer of the Year, Family of the Year and an award for the Spirit of MRH. Each school named their Teacher of the Year, ending with the overall District Teacher of the Year. Her acceptance speech really did need some move along music, like in the Academy Awards, but she ended with a funny story. When she learned of this honor, she told her young daughter about it. The daughter seemed rather nonplussed about the award. The next day, the daughter asked her mother, “Who is going to be Teacher of the Year today?”