Wednesday, September 12, 2018

To Whom Honor Is Due

I've just begun my 21st year at WCS and to say it's gone by in an instant would be an understatement. We've grown in so many ways in the two plus decades. Facilities, faculty, and students, the physical measures of a school, have continued on an upward trajectory although there are always bumps along the way. My first two teaching and coaching stops were at schools which were out in rural areas. While Westbury Christian is not in the downtown part of Houston, it is close enough to give it an urban feel, at least to me. It's also close enough to my apartment where I can easily access my classroom on the weekends and in off hours if necessary. I used to come in and lift weights at 4:30 AM when our workout room was part of the main building on the main campus. That was an eerie feeling! Part of me was praying I was the only one walking the halls at that hour! But one thing that always fascinated me was walking by our lower school library on my way to the weight room which is now our elementary art lab. It wasn't the library itself; it was the spotlight. Directly in my line of vision through the glass doors is a memorial showcased by track lighting in an otherwise dark room and I often stopped and just gazed at it for a minute. The plaque on the wall is dedicated to the woman whose name graces the library, Jackie Scarborough. Jackie was one of our lower school teachers who passed away the year before I relocated to Houston. Curious, I asked Diane King, our long time librarian, to tell me something about this lady. Here is what she wrote:

Jackie Scarbrough is and has been a light to the world.  As a first grade teacher, she treated each student with respect and modeled fairness to her students and other teachers alike. The twinkle in her eye drew children like a magnet and showed her love.  Her character spoke volumes and backed her words.  She knew without a doubt what was important: her faith, family, friends and students.  This soft spoken woman could bring a noisy classroom to whisper silence with a look and raised pointed finger.  Although unassuming, she could make big dreams come true like the time she teamed up with co-teacher Joan Partain to collect one million pennies for a playground.  The drive spanned two school years, but the day they celebrated the accomplishment, all 3 local television stations were on hand.  Best friend to many, and ultimate teacher, she pursued teaching as not just a job but a passion.  She even used the hallways for playful instruction.  One day she had her students use their bodies on hallway tiles to construct a bar graph of their favorite colored Skittles or fruits.  She loved to teach reading but Bible was her absolute favorite subject.  The afternoon of her passing, she had taught her Sunday Morning Bible class about heaven, enjoyed lunch with her family, and laid down for a nap.  As the story goes..she awoke in heaven but her light shines on through our school and the many friends and students she left behind. 

Wow. I never met Jackie but Diane's tribute makes me sad I missed that great blessing. I tell my students that monuments and arenas are named for those who typically fall into one of  two categories; the rich who gave a significant and generous donation or someone who has passed away who made a difference. Jackie Scarborough built a fortress in the latter definition. Every family and business and team and church needs the bright lights that emanate from the Jackie Scarboroughs of the world. She left a torch that still burns brightly here even though few are left who knew her personally. Beacons like her are not extinguished easily....... and light overcomes darkness, even at at 4:30 AM.

Applicable quote of the day:
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. 
Rabindranath Tagore

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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