A Graduation

Today, funeral services were held for one of my students. She was a 58 year-old grandmother, who had returned to community college to fulfill her dream of of completing a degree. She worked a full-time job all day, then came to night classes at the small rural satellite campus [same one featured in the book Teacherpreneur].

She would come to me on Tuesday nights to study World Literature. She was excited and nervous. Like many of my older adult students, she struggled with some of the material, but was fiercely determined to succeed. She was also inspirational and helpful to her fellow students. I last saw her the week after Thanksgiving as we prepared for final projects. She was coughing, but everyone in the class (including me) had been sick with some type of respiratory ailment this semester, so we pushed through. She missed class the day of final exams, but made a point of contacting me to make sure she had done everything she needed in order to pass. Her final grade was a “B,” and she was thrilled because she was within a semester of graduating.  A week later she was dead from pneumonia.

My prayers are with her family. 

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  • BillIvey

    If my heart is broken…

    … I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. Her story will stick with me, and my thoughts are with you all.

  • ReneeMoore

    Thanks, Bill

    I’ve had many students to die over the course of my career, each one tragic.

  • DavidCohen


    My thoughts go out to you and the family of this inspirational student. That would be tough to handle any time, but I imagine it’s even harder at this time of year.

  • Cathleen Lin

    The End… but Just the Beginning

    May you be comforted in knowing that your student wasn’t afraid to pursue her dream and lived life to the fullest. Her determination and perseverance inspired me to keep plugging at my study when at times it seems insurmountable. Your title ‘A Graduation’ makes me reflect on what kind of legacy I want to leave behind. Thank you! 

  • MelissaRasberry

    A great reminder…

    …about the hope and promise that you bring to so many in your community, Renee.  My heart is broken that your student—a woman so faithful and resolute in her journey—did not reach her ultimate goal of graduation. Prayers of peace and blessings to you and her family in the coming weeks and months ahead.