Here’s to the other heroes!

While we sat all geared up in green and gold and cheering for some of our sports heroes Sunday afternoon, another kind of hero tapped us on the shoulder and said hello.

We hadn’t seen Mrs. Reppert, an institution at our neighborhood grade school, since she retired several years ago, but we recognized her immediately among the thousands of Packer fans at the Timber Rattler Stadium for the Donald Driver Charity Softball game.

Mrs. Reppert ran a tight ship in the classroom (though she once gave four-year old Molly, a frequent visitor to her classroom, an entire set of stuffed 101 Dalmatian puppies). Outside the classroom, Mrs. Reppert and her partner Mrs. Hillesheim put together the annual talent show, a celebration of Hmong dancing, Broadway show tunes, pop music, piano, comedy and karate.

The two teachers did not mess around. Students had to audition to participate in this talent show, they had to rehearse and work hard in the weeks leading up to the big show. We loved the variety of the acts and the opportunity these two wonderful teachers gave their young students to shine.

Fourth grade with Mrs. Reppert turned out to be a pivotal year for our oldest son Charlie, a character who spent some time one afternoon wedged under a giant snowball on the school playground until his dramatic rescue by firemen. The escapade earned Charlie, who was perfectly healthy, both a ride to the hospital in an ambulance and a collection of sweet get well cards from concerned classmates.

Mrs. Reppert, a character herself, encouraged Charlie to develop his creativity and said her family looked forward to her evening “Charlie” stories.

Good teachers can trace the success of their efforts through the academic achievements of their students. But the great ones see beyond the words and numbers and teach their students to excel outside the classroom as well.

We’re adding a new category to the Molly and Me blog because we’d like an opportunity to salute some of the teachers who’ve made a tremendous difference in our lives.

Check back occasionally as we profile some of our favorite teachers.

Molly, Katherine and I had just settled in to watch the Donald Driver Charity Softball game when…
Mrs. Reppert tapped us on the shoulder. It was great for Katherine to connect with her former teacher and mentor.
This group of stuffed Dalmatian Puppies went everywhere with Molly for a very long time. Mrs. Reppert gave them to her.
The Veteran’s Day Celebration was very respectful in 1996; the class picture, a little less so.
Katherine sang “Part of Your World” for the 1998 Talent Show.
Charlie and then five-year old Vinnie did a ventriloquist act.

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