Coaches, teachers, others make difference in students' lives
posted Thursday, December 20th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm
On Friday I attended the Riser Middle School soccer team's last game and an end-of-season celebration at Johnny's Pizza. The team was formed only weeks ago — by eighth grade ELA teacher Melanie Dowdy, who also serves as cheerleader sponsor, Red Ribbon Week Coordinator, and oft-time school bus driver. Mrs. Dowdy —who has spent years supporting and cheering for a soccer star daughter — started the soccer team because she knew of so many boys excited about and hoping to play soccer as a team.
She recruited Coach Cesar Camacho after meeting him at Anytime Fitness, where he a fitness instructor. "Coach," Mrs. Dowdy, and the team made tremendous progress in these few short weeks, winning this final game handily. All team members played, and each came away knowing that they contributed to this exciting win.
Whether she did so after careful thought or by instinct, Mrs. Dowdy provided for these boys an excellent role model and mentor in Mr. Camacho. As she drove the bus, supplied water, snapped pictures, hauled around equipment and provided some back-up discipline, Mrs. Dowdy allowed Coach Camacho to be the primary motivator of this diverse team.
Throughout yesterday's experience, Coach Camacho placed emphasis on fair play, good sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and support for one another. He reiterated these ideals as he presented each team member with a certificate and some personalized words of praise.
While Mrs. Dowdy and Coach Camacho are stand-outs, it should be pointed out that there are innumerable dedicated and caring administrators, school board members, teachers, support staff and volunteers working for or in support of Louisiana schools. Likely each of these sincerely hopes to make a positive difference for each student.
They are trying daily to find a happy medium between "tough love" and personal compassion as they help kids mature in times unlike any before.
Let's please remember to support one another as we all work to meet the needs our kids.
8th gr. ELA