On September 20, 2015, I could barely contain my excitement as I headed to the Saints opening game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thanks to the Saints organization and Chevron, I was to be honored during the game as the “Teacher of the Week”.
The fun began as my principal, Ms. Lelia Parker, and I were escorted through Champions Square by my Assistant Principal, Ms. Tara Hernandez, and her family. As we stopped to take pictures in front of the Mercedes Benz Superdome, we ran into St. Tammany Parish School System’s Superintendent, Mr. Trey Folse. After a merry conversation, Ms. Parker and I set out to meet Nicole, our liaison with the Saints organization.
As Nicole led us through the tunnel, I had to stop myself from running enthusiastically out onto the field. However, my reaction once I got onto the field was one of awe. All I could do was stand and take in everything from the sounds filling the Superdome to the feel of the turf under my feet. While the kickers were warming up behind us, I had to force myself to concentrate as I did a short interview for the School System Communications Department. Next, Nicole led us to a special area where Ms. Parker and I were treated to delicious food. From the table decorations to the courteous staff, Ms. Parker and I were spoiled by the royal treatment.
After our delightful meal, we were led to our seats and the game began. As the clock ticked down in the first quarter, my anticipation began to grow as I had been informed that the recognition would take place during the second quarter. Just before the start of the second quarter, Nicole came to make sure we were ready for the big moment. A little while later, our area was surrounded by members of the Saints organization while a cameraman was kneeling before me on the steps. Suddenly, I saw my name being flashed across the Jumbotron. The moment was surreal as I watched the video of the lesson that had been filmed in August being broadcasted throughout the Superdome. All of a sudden, Nicole signaled to start waving to the crowd, and I was overwhelmed to hear the thunderous applause.
Despite the final score, my mood was optimistic as I hummed to myself “I Believe” by Harrison Avenue while exiting the Superdome. Not only do I believe that the Saints can still go “all the way”, I believe that my students can go “all the way” to incredible achievements too.