The year I met Kalyssa was my first year of teaching and her first year of middle school. To say that I am honored to have been Kalyssa’s teacher, coach, and senior photographer would be an understatement.
For all of my fellow teachers reading this, think back to your first year of teaching, how excited you were to be finally teaching and SO enthusiastic about the content you were explaining to get completely deflated when your excitement about the content isn’t matched by your students, or maybe that was just me… Well, Kalyssa was one of the few in my classes that were equally as excited about learning what I was excited to be teaching. Thank you Kalyssa, for being a light and reassuring my decision of the profession I chose! 😉
To clarify, I have had many students whom I am very proud of, but there is just something about the first group you teach that has an exceptional place in your heart (I am now tearing up as I write this). They taught me more about myself as a teacher than any student teaching experience I had, which were both equally informative and helpful to my teaching career.
I would like to share one story about Kalyssa, that even she may not know my side of! My second year of teaching I decided that I wanted to take on coaching middle school girls athletics (yes I was naive). Kalyssa along with many 7th-grade girl athletes were trying out for the volleyball teams. It was time for all of the girls to serve, and Kalyssa asked if she could try a jump serve. I said “Sure!” Thinking it wouldn’t be successful but, was I wrong! I about fell on the floor when I saw her serve zip right over the net and sink, and then again, and again!
Fast forward to high school Kalyssa continued to chase her dreams making excellent grades and becoming an asset of the Lubbock High Lady Westerner Varsity Volleyball team. She then made a mature and challenging decision to step down from the varsity volleyball team to focus on her grades and pursue her dreams to go to college, and pre-med at that!
Kalyssa was accepted to FIFTEEN top-ranked colleges!
I didn’t even apply to five! (I don’t advise this!)
I still can’t believe how much of a wonderful, talented, brilliant young woman this bright-eyed, contagious smiling little 6th-grade girl has become. Though, I am incredibly excited to see what this girl accomplishes in her life and may just have to finally make a trip to SAN FRANCISCO!
Congratulations, Kalyssa! You are one of a kind, and I know your family is incredibly proud!
Go get ‘em, kid! -Coach Lane
I hope you enjoy this session as much as I did. This will ALWAYS be one of my favorites.