Saturday, August 23, 2014


I've always been blessed with terrific student aides at WCS as I mentioned two nights ago. Over the years, none has evoked more of a response from our little children than the young lady chronicled below. THE LOVELY NANCY BARRERA is now THE LOVELY NANCY BALTODANO with her new better half, Alvaro, who also rated a mention in this entry, dated January 27, 2006, and now with children! When you are finished, would you mind clicking the link below and paying her a visit at the photography business she owns? I'll owe you one!
I heard the voice as soon as I walked in. "Coach Hawley!" Like most theaters, this one was dimly lit and I couldn't tell where the voice came from. Suddenly, I saw a form running down the stairs towards me. As it came closer, I recognized the diminutive Nancy Barrera. It had been a long time! Nancy was one of my students who graduated from Westbury Christian School in May of 2004. She was with her family and her significant other, Alvaro Baltodano, another former WCS student. I love seeing old students but Nancy is NOT just another alumnus. She was a celebrity of almost rock star standing in our elementary school during her senior year. She was, in fact, THE LOVELY NANCY BARRERA.

For five years, I've been blessed to have student aides assigned to me. They have all been seniors and female. I have nothing against my gender but at that age, I have more success working with girls. I prefer they be bilingual. My aides this year are Beverly, Bouba, and Viri. Beverly and Viri speak Spanish while Bouba is fluent in French/German. They all have areas of proficiency and tasks they enjoy more than others. Beverly is terrific at making keys from video quizzes, Bouba is my computer guru, and Viri is the best at organizing papers/recording them in my gradebook. The three of them, along with Brandon Greene, my student basketball assistant, make my life easier. You might wonder about my needing helpers who speak other languages. In reality, I recruit aides who speak Spanish. Our school raises funds for a Christian orphanage for boys in Honduras and my grasp of Espanol is .2 on a 10 scale. Having an aide who is a native Spanish-speaker adds realism. In the spring, I spend considerable time in our elementary school promoting our Honduras work. By extension, so do my helpers. We collect pennies to help build and now grow Jovenes en Camino, the boys' home located an hours' ride from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. I visit each classroom, show a 10 minute video about the boys, give away little wooden crosses from Honduras, and talk about the love Jesus had for children. It's a big thing. We have, with Friendship Christian School in Tennessee, raised over $150,000 for some of the poorest children on earth. (Two years ago, our schools were honored when one of the dormitories was named jointly for us.) I always introduce my aides to the kids and for some reason, I decided Nancy needed a title which would describe her and help the little ones remember this senior. THE LOVELY NANCY BARRERA just seemed to fit. The kids fell in love with her and would get so excited when they would see her in the halls. When they noticed her with her boyfriend, it might as well have been on Entertainment Tonight! Nancy made a special connection with the first graders. She would read to them and laugh with them. She treated each child as if he or she were the most important person in the school. We have practically every ethnic group in the world represented at WCS and they all saw her as being like them. Kids respond to love with love and they loved her. We all did. Each grading period, the faculty selects a "Student of the Six Weeks." Incredibly, going into her last two months at WCS, Nancy- an honor roll student involved in cheerleading, soccer, volleyball, etc.- had never been the recipient. Bradley Crider and I campaigned and Nancy became the honoree. The presentations are made during all-school chapel. When our Headmaster, Bob McCloy, announced the winner was THE LOVELY NANCY BARRERA, I thought the kindergarten through fourth grades would riot! Their hero was getting her due. Little ones identify quality- it was instant recognition with Nancy.

God gives us gifts. Nancy used hers as well as anyone. She was herself; no frills, no pretensions. You don't have to be tall- she could barely see over the heads of the elementary students. Because Nancy enthralled them, kids collected every penny they could to save boys they will never meet. Nancy wasn't lovely because of beauty, even though she's beautiful. In his third epistle, Peter tells women how to be beautiful. No mention of extreme makeovers, cosmetics tips, or hair care secrets. Peter's beauty formula is a 'gentle and quiet spirit.' I have yet to see that counter at the mall! When they open that franchise, I have the perfect model- THE LOVELY NANCY BARRERA!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Every human being has a work to carry on within, duties to perform abroad, influence to exert, which are peculiarly his, and which no conscience but his own can teach."
William Ellery Channing

Here is the link to Nancy's photography shop!

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Jon said...

i cant belive u saw her.. u were talking about her in class

JKC said...

Well, kids do make impressions in different ways, don't they? I wish you could say that you remember my boys with such wonderful memories, but it just wasn't to be! But, you will have to admit - you do remember them!

I know you have helped mold so many kids over the past 25 years (or so),and I thank God for the great influence you had on mine.

Keep up the good work.

Melly said...

Hi Steve, that was a wonderful devotional. It has given me much food for thought. I will pop over and look at Nancy's blog, which I'm sure I will be inspired by. Also I wanted to thank you for following my blog, I hope in some small way God can use me to bless you.
Have a wonderful day!

Noah's Ark Photography said...

Coach Hawley! I was just telling Mrs Parker I don't know how many times I've read and re-read this entry since 2006! Love it! You've been such a great inspiration for me in so many ways.

Thanks! :o)

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

hi. Nice to meet you. What a great site, mission and purpose you have for your life. I excited about reading a blog that is purposeful and positive and honors the king. I will stop by your friends blog with pleasure....