Dear Mrs. J,

I walk through the school halls as I hear the loud voices of students laughing and filling each other with the latest gossip, I hear lockers bang as they close almost as if they are filled with anger, I see the tired looks of students as they trudge on to their next class, and the loud speaker continues to boom calling all the seventh graders to the office that had been running through the hallways.

Everything should seem like nothing has changed, and everything is how it always is, but is it still the same? No. Something is different. I walk down to the familiar classroom and pop my head through into it. I look around for you hoping you'll be in your classroom, sitting at your desk just waiting for me, to ask you for advice, or ask you for another book to read, but I don't see you. I come to the realization that you are gone now, and I'll never get to see you just sitting in behind that desk, just waiting for someone to come so you can help them.

I can only recall the memories now.

I can remember in the eighth grade when I felt like I had no one to turn to. I came to you and asked you to help me and right away you came to my side. You were always that one person I could come to when I was troubled, and I knew I could always count on you. You showed me exactly how to handle each situation, and I became a stronger person because of it. You taught me how to face the world with a brave smile and not let anything get to me. You taught me that it doesn't matter what others think of me, but rather how I view myself. You taught me how to just be okay with being the weird Grace that I am, instead of trying to put a mask on and be someone that I know I'm not.

Thank you, Mrs. J, for EVERYTHING.

I don't think I can ever thank you enough. Thank you for showing me that the world needs more kindness in it, and it would be a better place if it could be spread around. Thank you for teaching me not just to simply write, but to write with all the passion I have. I don't know if I would have such a love for writing if it wasn't for you. Thank you for giving me advice with all my troubled problems, and showing me how to be a strong individual. Most importantly, thank you for not only being an amazing teacher, but for being an inspirational role model. I aspire to be like you one day and I hope I achieve that goal.

You were more than just a teacher to the students at Bishop Neumann, but they viewed you more as their grandmother. You were always so kind hearted to anyone who needed it, and you gave everyone around you so much love. You were so joyful no matter what you were going through, and honestly you were a saint. Thank you for always being there when I needed a helping hand, and I hope that one day I can grow up, and show students of my own that same love and joy. I hope that one day I can be that inspiration for all those kids. Thank you, and you will never be forgotten, and will always have a place in my heart, and the hearts of many others.

With much love,

Grace Elizabeth Kenney