I always imagined it would feel so great to win something big - like a lot of money, a fabulous trip, an all-expenses-paid experience, introductions to famous people.  I guess that would be wonderful, but unless I count a “free” trip to chaperone 400 teenagers to see Mickey and Minnie, I can’t say I know the feeling for sure.  What I do know for certain is how it feels to give all of those things to deserving people. 


ESU has allowed me the absolute joy to change lives,  to renew enthusiasms,  to grant dreams, to make ripples in the pond.  I give money to teachers.

I am proud to presently serve The Central Florida Branch as the V.P. of the Jessie Drey Endowment.  Jessie was one of our founding members, bequeathing part of her large estate close to 30 years ago now, so that we would be able to honor and support Central Florida teachers in perpetuity.  For many years, I have also been part of both the scholarship and education committees in the Central Florida Branch.  

I have had the joyful experience of making phone calls to tell teachers they would be going to a national education conference on our dime!  Virtually none of them would have been able to afford it on their own.  They returned to their classrooms with armloads of new materials and ideas, eager to share with their colleagues and students.  Over their teaching careers, ESU helped them make thousands of ripples in their own classroom ponds. 

I have interviewed teachers and been part of the decisions to send dozens of teachers to the UK for the summer of their lives, studying at Oxford, The Globe or University of Edinburgh.  Every last one of those teachers came back to their classrooms and students, full of new perspectives and strategies, grateful to ESU for the experience of a lifetime.  Some of them were young and idealistic, fairly early in their careers, and others were in that space and time when an ESU scholarship came along at just the right time, enabling them to find their spirit and enthusiasm again. 

Perhaps the part that I have - selfishly - loved the most, however, has been that I have been able to remain an influencer, a teacher-leader, long after my own classroom career ended. I am grateful to ESU for my after-teaching career.