Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Washington Week: Institute of Peace Gala

Okay. Back to teacher prom. Or, maybe teacher Oscars? You decide. Wednesday evening, in the pouring rain, with a tornado warning posted just south of D.C., was the Institute of Peace Gala honoring the teachers of the year. Once I navigated myself on and off the bus in the dark, in heels, and a Bon-Ton prom dress that was just a tad too long (but I did not trip or fall, and that's all that matters) it was a beautiful evening that was definitely more Oscars than prom. I don't really know what else to say except it was stunning and like living someone else's life. The pictures pretty much say everything else.

View from the first set of stairs

View from second set of stairs - Photo credit Allison Riddle

If you look closely, you can see a plane. We could see them flying in
and out all evening.

Place settings - names were on the programs

Throughout the evening there were several speeches made by special guests such as Arne Duncan, the Secretary of the Department of Education, and Lily Garcia, vice president of the National Education Association. Each state teacher of the year was asked to stand and was recognized for representing his or her state.
Jon Quam, director of the teacher of the year program

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education

With Arne Duncan

With Rae McKee, 1991 WV and National Teacher of the Year

Best of all, Brad came down for the evening and for the next day at the White House. It is very hard to be away from family this year - although you gain so much, at the same time you are also losing a year of your life. So I'm glad I had the chance to share this special evening with him.
My prom/Oscar date :-)

With Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower
and president of People to People International

How does it feel to be treated like you are incredibly important? Overwhelming. Like I will never be able to pay it forward. A little fearful of what others will think of me for having had all this attention. I kept putting off posting about my experience in D.C. for that reason alone. After what I have experienced this year seeing the struggles faced by West Virginians  not just in education but economically, spending a week being treated like a VIP seemed out of line. Maybe it is. Maybe I have been given too much. Regardless, I hope I will be able to share my experiences and use how much I appreciate what I have been given to do good things for others.

1 comment:

  1. How exciting! Tomahawk loved watching you on TV, what an experience for all of us! You work incredibly hard and you deserve the recognition! Don't worry what others think we are all proud of you and are rooting for you!