30 years ago, I walked into Immanuel as a pre-k student. My teacher (Mrs. Thorson) had to carry me in her arms because I would not stop crying. I remember her comforting me all day. I didn't speak English, but she graciously took the time to tutor me after school until I learned. I thought she would be the only teacher I would ever love; I was wrong! Each year I found the same love, patience, and dedication from my new teacher. As I went through elementary and middle school, I made friends who became more like family (whom I’m still friends with today) and met teachers I would never forget. My mom became a member of S.A.L.T and later became a teacher's aid. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the brand-new high school at Immanuel. The students, staff, and parents all had something in common. They cared! My classmates and I had such a strong bond. We all were so different, but we knew how to respect, love, and pray for each other.
I graduated in 2006, knowing I would be back. This was my second home! A few years after I graduated college I came back as a substitute, and later with my first child. Now all 3 kids are here, and I help with SALT as my mom once did. My kids have had the honor of having many of the same amazing teachers I had, running laps with my same funny coach, getting tardy slips from the same joyful secretary, and running into the same sweet Mr. Valerio in the halls.
People sometimes ask me if I regret staying at the same school my entire life. The answer is NO WAY! I see how many of my old classmates are returning to Immanuel with their kids now and it’s clear that we all felt that same love. It’s definitely true, “Once a Warrior always a Warrior!”