I went to graduate school in Greeley, Colorado. I took classes and did clinical work on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado for four semesters. Then I did two semesters of full time internships back in Arizona. We drove to Colorado for my graduation ceremony. I got my master's degree on a Friday in August, 2004. We drove back to Arizona on Saturday and Sunday (we stopped in Albuquerque to spend the night) and I started work as a speech language pathologist at Frank School on Monday. It was a hell of a beginning to my speech therapy career.
When I started at Frank in August, 2004 Amy was teaching one of the self-contained classes. We became quick friends. The next year Maryellen got a job at Frank as a resource teacher. She joined the friendship with me and Amy. In 2007 I left Frank because I was pregnant with Spencer. Joni took my position. The same year Shireen got a job teaching the other self-contained classroom and Lauren became the school psychologist. In my absence Joni, Shireen and Lauren became friends with Amy and Maryellen. One year later Brenda joined the staff of Frank as a resource teacher. Even though I never technically worked with them I became friends with Joni, Shireen, Lauren and Brenda because we were all friends with Amy and Maryellen.
Shireen and Amy both resigned from Frank school at the end of the school year in 2010 because they had both had babies. Joni got a job somewhere else. It was that summer that we decided to have monthly get-togethers as a way to continue everyone's friendships. We continued those get-togethers with all of us until last year when Amy moved to Indiana. We also added Cynthia to our group because she was Joni's speech aid and helped cover my caseload when I was on maternity leave.
So, that is the background. It was pretty extensive, huh?
Now for the party!
Brenda decided, at the beginning of the school year, that she was going to retire in December. We decided, soon after, that we would have a retirment party for her. That little shindig happened on Saturday.
We decided to get all dressy and fancy for the occassion. It was a good call.
Sydney, who took Joni's job and is the current speech therapist at Frank, hosted the party at her house.
I brought dessert platters.
Shireen made a great banner,
And made pretty centerpieces.
Maryellen ordered a marvelous cake.
We were all just delighted for Brenda.
Maryellen and me
Shireen, Gloria (a self-contained teacher at Frank) and me
me and Joni
Baby Dahlia, Shireen and Maryellen
Lauren, Shireen, Dahlia, Maryellen and me
After we took that picture we realized it was the perfect opportunity to get a good picture of all of us. Only problem- Joni had just left. So we called her and made her come back. Ha ha!
And then we were a little out of control with the picture taking.
This one was Sydney's idea.
This one was my idea.
Then we took a picture of everybody who has ever worked at Frank School in the order of when they worked there. I actually started there before anybody else, although I certainly wasn't there the longest. Oh, and Joni had left again by the time we did this picture.
That's Brenda right there in the middle in the pretty purple dress.
This is who still worked at Frank as of the last day before break.
Maryellen was smelling Dahlia's shoe and saying yuck! Dahlia kept giving it to her over and over and over.
Brenda cutting her cake.
Brenda brought her karaoke machine and rocked out.
She was dancing and actually said these words, "I was trying to twerk, but it didn't work".
It was hilarious!
The vase that Maryellen ordered for Brenda.
It was a very fun party!
I never actually worked with Brenda but all I have ever heard from anybody else is how wonderful she is and how much she is going to be missed. If she is even half as good a teacher as a friend I know that this is true.