Hell, they even talked me into being the president of the PTSO at one point if you can imagine that. And I loved every minute of it.
SAIL high school. A School For Arts and Innovative Learning.
It's where Jessie learned to play mandolin (the school band is a bluegrass band) and May found a home with peers and teachers when she needed them. It's a school where every student is treated with respect and every student's talents and needs are recognized and honored.
And as you can imagine, the teachers are very, very special.
The SAIL family lost one of its most valued and respected members this morning. His name was Rodd Moorer and he was known always and forever as Brother Rodd.
Here's a picture of him at his retirement celebration last year.
I love that picture. It sums up the energy and just damn love that SAIL represents and of course, Brother Rodd is right in the middle, hand over heart.
It makes me cry.
Isn't it odd how some people can die and you're sad but you have no real emotional reaction and then someone else can pass over and even if you didn't know them that well, it just jerks your heart right out of your chest and you can't help but cry?
Brother Rodd's death did that for me. He was just always such a presence with his dreads, his rasta cap, and mostly his beautiful, beautiful smile. He walked with his soul wide open and had no need to keep any of it from his physical bearing. Here's a picture of that smile. The student was wearing his cap. He was generous with his very heart.
I could write a book about SAIL but the person who needs to write it is a woman named Rosanne Wood who was its first principal and who, with a band of teachers who were as colorful and varied in every way as the student body, made such a difference in so many people's lives. Rosanne is retired now too and every time I see her I tell her to write that book.
In these days of such confusion and let's face it- failure in our educational systems- SAIL is a model that needs to be studied and emulated. Although- how do you find educators like Rosi and Rodd?
I don't know. But instead of so much teaching about testing and teaching TO the test, maybe teachers could be nurtured to be more like the teachers of SAIL because in my heart, I think that people go into teaching because they do want to make a difference in students' lives. They DO want to be able to teach with heart and soul. It's certainly not for the money or the ease of the job.
Here's what Rosanne wrote on Facebook about him today.
Brother Rodd Moorer, beloved SAIL High School teacher, colleague and true friend "transitioned" early this morning after a fierce, but thankfully brief, battle with pancreatic cancer. Rodd was the most transcendent human being I've ever known. He was very clear before he "crossed over" that he would always be part of everything and in each of us, forever. He changed so many lives in his brief 63 years. Everyone who knew him is grateful to have had him on this earth; he will always be our "Brother".
I didn't really know you that well but I didn't have to. That's the sort of man you were.
I mourn you but I trust that your spirit is just damn fine. I trust that with every molecule of my soul.
Love...Ms. Moon, Always And Forever, A Member Of Your Family