Happy July; for those of you on summer break, how’s it going?
Today as I reflect on June, I’m thinking about all of the people I’m meeting who are somebody’s Mr. Quigley, like Jesse, from Howard Elementary in the Green Bay area. Fourth-grade teacher Brienne, pictured above with him, confirmed what I felt when we met: He loves our littles so well and they all adore him!
Wanna hear a cool coincidence? Jesse shares the same last name with Fred, the hero handyman at Westwood and Bales where I worked for seventeen years! Fred took such amazing care of us; I think about him all the time and miss him every day.
Anyway, we actually dedicated our book to these kind and compassionate humans.
Our lives are better because of people like Mr. Quigley, unsung heroes who show up and support us through the good and the bad, who care for the needs of others before their own, who serve with a smile. Sometimes they’re even veterans, who sacrifice so much for us, just like Don Pittman, the real Mr. Quigley. Here he is at the age of 19, when he served as a sailor in the Korean War. Didn’t our illustrator do an amazing job on that portrait of him on my favorite page?
Maybe your Mr. Quigley doesn’t work at your school. After reading our story aloud to her fifth-grade friends, Barbie Monty, an incredible educator and friend in Florida, invited them to write about that special Mr. Quigley in their lives; prepare to be wowed by their insightful reflections about a neighbor, a teacher, a mom, a dad, and a friend!
Thank you, Barbie, for giving us this gorgeous glimpse into the hearts of McKenna, Anvi, Violet, Evan, Saisha and Audrey; I appreciate how you encouraged them to make connections and share what endears these key people to them and how they positively impact their lives. Your passionate influence shines through their work.
Who is YOUR Mr. Quigley? Leave us your answers in the comments.