Alumna Maggie Moody (’17) sent this letter to FPD High School Principal, Matt Kitchell, on November 27. With her permission we are sharing portions of it. Maggie does an amazing job summing up what an education at FPD is truly all about!
I was inspired to write to you after listening to a discussion in my English 1101 class this morning. We were discussing how students are generally not prepared for college and many of my classmates shared ways in which they were not and still are not prepared for college. I sat silently and reflected over my first semester so far, and I realized that I haven’t felt inadequate or that I was not given and taught the proper skills needed for this season of my life. I attribute this to my time at FPD.
It began in 6th grade when Mrs. Atkinson taught me how to diagram sentences and these skills were improved upon by Mr. Walton and Mrs. Neyman. These three special teachers also carefully encouraged and nurtured my love for reading. Later, I was pushed outside my comfort zone by Ms. Yu, Ms. Newman, and Mrs. Alvarez who had me read classics I would have never picked up, such as The Old Man and the Sea, A Tale of Two Cities, Catcher in the Rye, Frankenstein, and many more. These books, some which I loved and some which I don’t necessarily care to read again, challenged my reading comprehension and developed critical thinking skills which have proved valuable in college. They also, along with Coach A, taught me to write. While I am no excellent writer, I have a firm foundation in writing which has done me quite well so far.
In 6th and 7th grade at FPD, I had geography. Ms. Wall and Coach Spear opened my eyes to the world beyond the microscopic portion of it which I knew. Coach A taught me more than I ever thought I could possibly learn about history and pushed the limits on how much information can be in 80 multiple choice questions. Coach Child’s taught me how our country got to where it is today. Mrs. Roberts and Coach Hall took classes which I was dreading to take senior year and taught me things about our nation and how the world works which I will remember and use throughout the rest of my life.
Everyone has a subject that they like the most because it’s the one they are best at; for me, that subject is math, and I one hundred percent attribute this to the teachers I have had. Mrs. Hattaway, Mrs. Huggins, Mr. Behel, Mrs. Meyers, Mr. Brock, Mr. Middlebrooks, and Mrs. Ector all gave me plenty of practice! While this homework was sometimes dreaded, I am grateful for it. Mrs. Ector made me fight and work hard to get an A in a class which I was not sure I could do so. Through this I learned that with hard work and commitment to success, I can achieve things which can’t be given to me but must be earned. This has been a skill which has proved very useful in biology this semester.
In science, FPD gave me opportunities from the beginning which for me was 6th grade when we dissected a frog with Mrs. Massey. These opportunities continued and concluded my senior year with Mrs. Kemper when we dissected a pig. In 7th grade Mrs. Barnes emailed my parents during the 3rd quarter when I missed two homework assignments. While at the time I was mad because I knew others in the class had missed more than two homework assignments, I look back and am grateful that she held me accountable to not just barely have an A in her class but to do my best, to finish the race strong which during 3rd quarter isn’t always the easiest to do. In 8th grade Mrs. Humphries’ persistence didn’t allow me to give up on “sig-digs” which eventually I mastered.
In 9th grade Mrs. Robertson introduced me to a subject in which I loved but had difficulties understanding at times. Her patience in explaining things many times and many ways introduced me to what is looking to be my major over these next four years. In 10th grade Dr. Peters not only taught me chemistry but also offered a knowledge of the business world and entrepreneurship. In 11th grade Coach Self enhanced my love for biology through his own fascination with science. Finally, Mrs. Kemper taught me just how valuable an index card truly is!
My Latin classes were the hardest for sure. My parents would ask me why I was having such a hard time and my excuse was that the class was in another language but it never helped and they didn’t find it funny. In Latin, Mr. Hopper opened up a whole new world. He uniquely taught Latin and was able to relate it to Jesus’s life. I enjoyed when he would show us some of the travels Paul took on the beautiful mural he painted in his room of the Mediterranean Sea.
Sometimes, when I tell people I went to a Christian high school, they are baffled that I don’t have the bible basically memorized. However, that’s not what its about. The lessons Mrs. Hattaway, Mr. Moore, Coach T, Mr. Morton, Ms. Nixon, and Coach Veazey taught me were so much more valuable. They taught me through their actions what grace was and showed me what it is to love the Lord humbly and fiercely. They answered questions when I didn’t even know exactly what I was asking.
The most important lesson I learned was taught to me by Mrs. Ashley Childers. It was that joy is a choice. Joy is a choice and that choice is Jesus. Life isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t matter because everyday I get to choose joy. I get to choose Jesus.
I have noticed many people come to college saying they want to do something that will help people and change lives for the better. I can’t speak for everyone, but I want you to know that under your leadership and guidance, these teachers changed mine. Their persistence through the frustration was not only appreciated but inspiring. I can’t imagine where I would be had my parents not given me the opportunity to attend FPD. Thank you for being the leader these teachers needed, to be the teachers any student would be lucky to have!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!