By: Mrs. Bergland
For thirty-five years, I’ve heard them say,
Mrs. Fowler has been with SJA.
Five year olds, she was to teach;
This innocent girl who loves the beach.
Just days before she was to begin,
The rain did fall and water rushed in.
In her classroom there was a flood.
The entire room was covered in mud.
They cleaned and mopped and rolled up sleeve.
Lucky for us, she didn’t leave.
She met her partner named Elberfeld
And began her career in a room that smelled.
With blocks and books and tiny chairs,
Cars and trucks and big, brown bears,
With chubby crayons and pencils fat,
She introduced The Cat in the Hat.
With big, dog Clifford and the color red
A love of learning filled their head.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, too,
There was fun for children to do.
Apple orchards, Halloween,
Dressing like a fairy queen.
Feasts and parties, Whoville houses,
Visiting pets like cats and mouses.
Aquarium visits to see the fishes,
Springtime plays and birthday wishes.
Teaching letters drawn in rice,
Singing songs like Three Blind Mice.
Doing puzzles was not for her,
Bingo games she’d much prefer.
She loved each child and knew each need.
They were happy to succeed.
Mrs. Fowler loved teaching but wanted more.
New adventures she did explore.
The school was growing, all wanted in.
So with admissions, she did begin.
They came to visit; there were throngs,
Not much time for singing songs.
She knows details and all their faces
Away from Kindergarten, to brand new places.
Instead of friends that were just five,
It seems she met ALL those alive.
And she recalls all that they tell her,
From Smith to Jones to Rockefeller.
Facebook helps her stay in touch.
She can never give too much.
She’s on the phone and gets e-mail,
Through giving school tours, she does sail.
To bring folks in she’s quite a fox,
She plans events out of the box.
Superhero , fun for all,
She serves breakfast, come one and all,
Walk-in Wednesday, mom’s play date,
Ice cream social, I can’t wait.
She’s tested kids with her magic box,
By stacking all the colored blocks.
Fairs for AIMS and for preschool,
Fairs for placement to high school.
They love St. James, ‘most everyone.
Applications arrive; she’s quite undone.
In early spring she makes her choices.
Mrs. Fowler decides, she must hear voices.
She accepts the students she knows fit best,
And wishes good luck to all the rest.
She throws big parties to introduce
While passing chips and pouring juice.
She welcomes all, will watch them grow,
Then she’s involved until they go.
She brings them in and moves them out,
She knows what kids are all about.
You’d think, “Enough,” but not for her
From hours and work, she’d never defer.
She studies the brain at seminar
With learning styles, she has gone far.
She visits classes for observation,
For each child’s evaluation.
On her laptop, her writing toy,
She makes assessments for girl and boy.
And if there’s a need for conference.
She gives each party confidence.
She understands what makes us tick,
And shares with teachers all her tricks,
To reach each child, not miss a one,
To show that learning can be fun.
She listens well and gives advice.
Her answers always are precise.
All are welcome at her door,
Parent, teacher, student, more.
Alumni come, oh, how they grow.
There isn’t one she doesn’t know.
Her office might be filled with piles,
But she can find each student’s files.
On the walls and in décor,
You can see she loves the shore.
She gives her all, how can it be,
That she has time for family?
Hubby, Bud, and little Anne
Was all there was when she began.
Along came Meredith and a sweet young son.
Just ask about ol’ Harrison.
She shares defeats and some of the glories,
When she tells her Harrison stories.
But all are gone and married now.
There’s two granddaughters, Holy cow!
She has the pictures, watch her smile.
Stop by and visit and stay a while.
From room with mud to where you are,
With each step, you’ve been a star.
A mentor, you have been to many.
Regrets are few, if there are any.
We thank you for your time these years.
Laughter, courage, and some tears.
Many more years we hope you stay,
We celebrate you, here today.
Not only children, but grown ups, too.
Have learned life’s lessons, a gift from you.