This piece was written by Executive Director Ellen Magnis for Huffington Post
During this season of gratitude, I have been thinking about those who have helped shape my life in significant ways. I have had the benefit of many wise teachers. When I think back to my teenage years to some of my earliest mentors, Carla McGee comes to mind. She was a beloved high school teacher who then went on to become a principal, and then on to other leadership positions in education.
Mrs. McGee was a force to be reckoned with, and she communicated with a gentle and persistent persuasion. When she spoke, my friends and I listened attentively, inspired by her joyful presence and concern. She loved us. That much was clear. I was keenly aware of Mrs. McGee’s attention. I knew she believed in me, that she saw me. I saw myself differently because of her care. And I know many others would say the same — that she was a powerful force of inspiration in our early lives. She was a second mother. She was family.