1184980_10200794082037887_1331926397_nMy Summer of Thanks would not be complete if there was not an acknowledgement of the man that took a chance on hiring a 37-year-old first-year teacher.  Roger Norris was the principal at Hamilton Southeastern Junior High School when I student taught there in 1995.  I was impressed that Roger took time with me during my student teaching; I can only imagine the number of student teachers that he had experienced in all his years as a principal and, yet, he took time to give me a teacher evaluation and sit down with me to talk about what he observed.  It meant a lot to me.  One thing that the military impressed on to me was the importance that leadership played in the success of an organization.  Roger was, in every way, an educational leader; he acted in the talent show (swinging on a vine during the Guitarzan lip sync (taught me the importance of being human in front of kids), he supported me in every thing I wanted to try in the classroom, and he would listen and guide; instead of dictate and tell.  On the day he called and offered me a job, Laurel and I were entertaining options of what happens next; Roger’s decision to take a chance on me made that decision easy; we stayed in Fishers, instead of going back to Colorado.  He also was instrumental in pairing Tony Sturgeon and me with Steve Baney on the Globetrotter team.   When an English position opened on the Globetrotter team a couple weeks before school opened, Tony and I pitched to Roger for Tony to take the English position (Tony’s minor) and hire Maureen Randall (she will come later in my Summer of Thanks) in Tony’s vacated social studies position.  Pairing us with Steve Baney would set in motion and define my teaching identity.