Some people look back on their high school years and remember awkwardness, drama (negative drama of the peer variety), too much homework, and a longing to get out.
While I'm sure those elements were a part of my high school experience, they aren't what immediately comes to mind when I think back on my years as a Mustang.
What does come to mind? Friends, football games, Bible club, drama (of the theater kind), and three incredible people--Mr. Grueber, Mrs. Grueber, and Ms. Pope.
Mr. Grueber, the gentle giant, GDawg, Grandpa Grueb, Mr. G., I'll never forget the first time I really met you. I was sitting in Algebra when a call slip came from the office. I had to go to your office. I had no idea why, but I wasn't nervous because your reputation proceeded you. When I walked in, Ashley was there, and you sat me down and told me that you just wanted to meet me. I was blown away--it was the first of many experiences with you that simply blew me away. Your doors were always open, your M&M jars always full. You never missed a game, event, or performance. Your arms and heart were always open, and you always had a listening ear. I remember (at least once) coming into your office in tears, only to leave with renewed strength and confidence. I cannot even describe in words how much you cared about me and all of your students--it never went unnoticed. I love all of the high school memories I hold dear that involve you and your dear wife--but what's even more dear to me is that those memories continue. I am so incredibly blessed to still have you as a part of my life. There's nothing quite like a giant hug from your loving arms.
Mr. G and me outside of a theater somewhere in LA on a field trip in high school.
Mrs. G., behind every amazing man is an even more amazing woman. That would be you. Now, I don't exactly remember the first time we met, but I'm sure that the moment I laid eyes on you, I immediately knew I'd love you forever and always. I was right. You were always by Mr. G.'s side; therefore, always there to support us, love us, encourage us, and lift us up. In high school, I loved seeing you at every event or show or game. Knowing the love you had for me and for all of the students inspired and encouraged us all. You taught us more about what it meant to love and laugh and live life to the fullest. Your strength and grace are simply beautiful, and I am a better woman and teacher because I have you in my life. I love every moment I get to spend with you.
Mr. and Mrs. G (I believe at a scholarship banquet at the end of my senior year)
Ms. Pope, not many people get to spend all four years of high school with the same teacher (and not many people would want to), but I consider myself completely blessed to have had that opportunity with you. From the moment I stepped into that theater and into your life, I knew I was at home. You taught me so much during my time at Stockdale. You not only taught me about theater and acting, but you taught me how to get up and try again after not succeeding. You taught me how to get out of my comfort zone. You taught me strength, leadership, flexibility, and how to work hard. I can never thank you enough for these life lessons, and I can never thank you enough for giving me a chance, for believing in me, for helping me reach my full potential. I absolutely love your heart towards your students and your craft; I absolutely love your compassion and strength; I absolutely love your laugh (it would always put me at ease when I was on stage); and I absolutely love that you are still a part of my life.
Pope--I stole this picture from Sam's FB because I love it and you look beautiful!
Amy, Lindsey, me, and Lorie during 7 Brides my freshmen year.
Mr. and Mrs. G. and Pope, thank you for being such a formative part of my life during my high school years. I am who I am today in large part because of the three of you. Thank you for continuing to be such a special part of my life. I cherish each moment we share. I love you all!