Letter: Remembering a dear friend | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Remembering a dear friend

I would like to share the top 10 things I learned from my courageous friend, my teaching partner and my inspriration, Kellie Schenck.

Top 10 things I learned from Kellie:

10. Dig deep: I have never known anyone who could dig deep as you do. You are a true inspiration and a hero to me. When things got tough, you had the biggest well of anyone I know to persevere and not complain. Amazing and inspiring.

9. Celebration: No one knows how to celebrate like you. You made everything a celebration and fun. I love how you overdid everything, whether it was the great Halloween decorations, birthdays, hot chocolate Wednesdays, gumball Thursdays or Bronco Friday. Thank you for helping me learn to celebrate.

8. Making people feel special: Whomever that you were with, you made them feel so special and loved, and I think that was one of your biggest assets as a teacher and a friend. Everyone felt special and honored when they were with you. What a gift.

7. Miss school, miss out: What can I say? I love it. What a metaphor for life: Always show up, don’t miss out. Whether it be school or life, what a great way to live.

6. 24/7: Never heard of it until you said and lived it. I remember your letter, and Tom Farrell told me about you and how excited that you were joining the school district. You actually did live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You have been so committed to your family and school that 24/7 really fits you

5. Team: I loved your emphasis on teamwork and how you always valued that in all of us — not only your classroom but all the fifth grade. The lunches, the sticking together and being a team made fifth grade so special for me. Even after coming back after five years out of course, there was a breakfast to welcome me back to the team.

4. Loyalty: You are such a loyal friend and always had my back through thick and thin. You were loyal not only to your friends but to your family, school, country and all sports teams — Aspen Skiers, the Avalanche and, of course, the Broncos. I felt safe having your friendship and knowing you will always be there for me.

3. Children first: That was always you regardless of what came around for us as teachers to do — you evaluated and figured out a way to make it fun and appropriate. You always had the kids’ best interests in mind and cared so much about each and every one of your students.

2. There is never a “bad”-kid mentality: I always admired how you brought the best out in your students and never gave up. You loved each and every one of your students for who they were, and your unconditional love changed many of them. You accepted them for who they were and honored each and every one of your students.

1. Love conquers all: Your love for your family, country, school and friends conquered all of your struggles. You had so much dignity and courage as you faced the big C, but your love for everyone outshined it all.

Rest in peace, my dear friend. Thank you for sharing your love so freely. I love you. With gratitude for all you taught me,

Debbie Kreutzer