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DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
Mon Nov 7, 2016, 10:47 PM Nov 2016

That's The Story Of How I Was An Honored Guest Of Hillary Clinton

In 2014 Hillary Clinton was coming to my city to speak. I had just been named Teacher of the Year for my state and so I invited her to visit my room. It was wishful thinking on my part, but as the only special education teacher to ever win this award in my state, I saw this as a chance to have a possible future president spend a little time in a classroom with severely disabled young people.

Secretary Clinton's assistant wrote me back. Mrs Clinton would not be able to visit my room as her schedule was already in place, but I was asked to be Mrs. Clinton's guest at her reception and at her speech.

When I arrived at the venue I was given a different card than everyone else and brought into the reception early. Soon the room filled with the elite of the Democratic Party, city officials, University Presidents and those wealthy enough to donate large sums of money to attend the reception. I was a fish out of water but luckily our past Governor, Ted Kulongowski, a big fan of teachers, took me under his wing and introduced me around the room. Basement-room special ed teachers don't usually get such treatment and I was a bit overwhelmed by the event.

When Mrs Clinton arrived the guests were all told to get out their blue card and get in the picture line. It ends up I was the only person in the room without a blue card. I stood back and watched the line and watched Mrs. Clinton. She was very friendly, all smiles and seemed a genuinely warm person. There were probably 50 people in line so each person was whisked up, introduced to Secretary Clinton, then whisked away. Like a fly on the wall I saw each person get to meet Mrs Clinton. One of Mrs. Clinton's staff walked by me and I told her I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. She looked at my ID and said, "You are Secretary Clinton's guest, you are doing something different."

That different meant that when the line was winding down I was brought over to meet Mrs. Clinton. She saw me coming and pointed towards me and said, "You! You are the teacher who invited me to his class!" I grinned at her and said hello. I expected to be whisked away but what followed was a conversation about special education. Mrs. Clinton had read all of the recent articles about my classroom and knew that I was teaching kids with pretty profound disabilities. Mrs. Clinton had done her homework. She had taken the time to learn about my students. I was impressed then and I am still impressed now.

Mrs Clinton spent her down-time before her speech hanging out with a teacher. That says something. That reception was full of Governors and Secretaries of State and people with the kind of money that most politicians would chase after. Mrs. Clinton chose the teacher. After a few quick pictures the staff began to remind Mrs Clinton that her speech was only a few minutes away. One grabbed my arm to lead me away but Mrs. Clinton had more to say. She grabbed my arm and stopped me in my place.

"Thank you for what you are doing," she said, and her smile was honest and the look in her eyes showed me that she understood and cared about my students, and she thanked me for being their teacher. Then she held my hand for a moment and I was led out to my seat.

And not just any seat, Mrs. Clinton had given me one of the best seats in the house.

Today I put my photo with Secretary Clinton in the hallway next to my classroom door.

Tomorrow night I will celebrate our first woman President. Tomorrow night I will rest well knowing that Madame President will do her homework even when she doesn't have to.

And that is my story of how I was an honored guest of Hillary Clinton and how she earned my vote.

44 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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That's The Story Of How I Was An Honored Guest Of Hillary Clinton (Original Post) DonRedwood Nov 2016 OP
I cried. That t was beautiful ! Thanks for sharing. fierywoman Nov 2016 #1
Goodness, didn't mean to bring tears! DonRedwood Nov 2016 #6
Good tears! Happy, very emotionally moved in a beautiful way tears! (not to worry!) fierywoman Nov 2016 #12
:0) Not worried, just touched DonRedwood Nov 2016 #32
Me too, but I'm a sucker for stories like this. trof Nov 2016 #41
Good for you!! sunweaver Nov 2016 #3
I can truly say DonRedwood Nov 2016 #10
K & R mountain grammy Nov 2016 #4
Beautiful and heartwarming post canetoad Nov 2016 #5
And I use it to inspire others DonRedwood Nov 2016 #15
You are a very special teacher grantcart Nov 2016 #7
Hey YOU canetoad Nov 2016 #17
Thank you! The honest truth is... DonRedwood Nov 2016 #31
Wow!!! TuxedoKat Nov 2016 #8
Two thumbs up! frazzled Nov 2016 #9
It was a good night to share such a story! DonRedwood Nov 2016 #33
Wonderful story! True_Blue Nov 2016 #13
Thank you for sharing that, it warmed my heart. fleabiscuit Nov 2016 #16
My pleasure--Thank you for the kind words. DonRedwood Nov 2016 #28
What a great story. Thanks for sharing. kcr Nov 2016 #18
What a wonderful story! NastyRiffraff Nov 2016 #19
I love my job! No thanks needed! DonRedwood Nov 2016 #39
I am just glowing and radiant with the power and spirit and dedication your words reflect. NBachers Nov 2016 #21
I wanted to send out some good energy. DonRedwood Nov 2016 #26
I love this mrs_p Nov 2016 #23
Thank you in every way! DonRedwood Nov 2016 #36
As I was reading this, I was nodding... yup... yep... TygrBright Nov 2016 #24
She is very charismatic in person! DonRedwood Nov 2016 #38
What a wonderful story!! Thank you for sharing this with us. Tess49 Nov 2016 #27
What a lovely story & memory to be able to share Ms.Lib Nov 2016 #30
Thank you very much! DonRedwood Nov 2016 #37
heartfelt and tear-filled k and r. thank you so much for sharing this amazing story with us. niyad Nov 2016 #42
My eyes are leaking mercuryblues Nov 2016 #43
Such a nice story treestar Nov 2016 #44
Dec 1969 #
Dec 1969 #
Dec 1969 #

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
32. :0) Not worried, just touched
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 01:57 AM
Nov 2016

Very sweet of you. I wanted to write something that was just good positive energy. Even if Mrs. Clinton wasn't somebody's first choice, I felt like my story could be a salve of sorts. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I haven't had much time lately for essay writing but tonight seemed like the night for it.

My best!

sunweaver

(75 posts)
3. Good for you!!
Mon Nov 7, 2016, 10:53 PM
Nov 2016

Congratulations on being tough enough to work with special needs kids, on being selected as Teacher of the Year, for having the guts to invite Hillary, and for keeping your cool at the reception!

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
10. I can truly say
Mon Nov 7, 2016, 11:21 PM
Nov 2016

It was very much a case of falling down the rabbit hole. I still shake my head to this day thinking I woke up in somebody else's life! (not with just this experience, but Meeting President Obama a few months later and the hundreds of crazy experiences since!)

canetoad

(17,414 posts)
5. Beautiful and heartwarming post
Mon Nov 7, 2016, 11:03 PM
Nov 2016

Special Ed. teachers make a real difference to so many lives. It's sort of fitting that HRC should pay it forward by inspiring you.

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
15. And I use it to inspire others
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 12:11 AM
Nov 2016

I give a lot of speeches now and I teach about how need to write our politicians or they won't know what we want. This is my example that they do read our letters.

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
31. Thank you! The honest truth is...
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 01:50 AM
Nov 2016

I know so many teachers who I think are better teachers than I!!! I was also part of a team with five para-educators and two full-time nurses in my classroom. Any recognition that came my way did so because I was part of an amazing team!!!

frazzled

(18,402 posts)
9. Two thumbs up!
Mon Nov 7, 2016, 11:20 PM
Nov 2016

One for being such a dedicated and caring teacher; one for relating your story of meeting with our next president and vouching for her character.

Thanks!

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
33. It was a good night to share such a story!
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 02:07 AM
Nov 2016

And it feels historical. I get to be that generation that voted in our first African American President (who I also got to meet!) and our first woman President (I'm feeling confident enough to say that). I feel proud!

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
26. I wanted to send out some good energy.
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 12:56 AM
Nov 2016

So thank you for your message. There have been many kind words said but your message was pretty special.

TygrBright

(20,836 posts)
24. As I was reading this, I was nodding... yup... yep...
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 12:50 AM
Nov 2016

...because I KNEW where you were going. I KNEW you'd get to "she'd taken the time to learn about my students."

I KNEW she read the coverage about your classroom and how you became your state's TotY. And probably refreshed what she already knew about special education issues, funding, policy, etc... and maybe mugged up a couple of quality recent analyses on the topic.

Because that's how our next President rolls.

She may not do "charisma," but she's ALL OVER "competence."

I will miss the combination of warm charisma, integrity, and thoughtful leadership that is Barack Obama. But I'm also looking forward to the combination of competence, caring, and commitment that is Hillary Rodham Clinton, 45th President of the United States of America.

appreciatively,
Bright

Ms.Lib

(131 posts)
30. What a lovely story & memory to be able to share
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 01:16 AM
Nov 2016

So inspiring & heartfelt, you clearing love what you do. Many thanks for sharing your Hillary story, just when I think I couldn't love her more.

niyad

(115,985 posts)
42. heartfelt and tear-filled k and r. thank you so much for sharing this amazing story with us.
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 01:26 PM
Nov 2016

and thank you for all the wonderful work you do.

mercuryblues

(14,636 posts)
43. My eyes are leaking
Tue Nov 8, 2016, 01:46 PM
Nov 2016

and I definitely don't have leaky eye syndrome.

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this today.

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