Cool Teachers Care

Recognizing The Exceptional

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”  – Andy Rooney

Without question, teachers impact more individual lives than nearly any other profession. And while the Kati Fischer Teacher of the Year program is currently flourishing in each school, Wasatch County School District, along with Labrum Chevrolet, Buick and Ford, conceived of an additional way to thank the lifeblood of the district and launched Cool Teachers Care this past August.

Cool Teachers Care is program that runs throughout the school year and rewards teachers who’ve been nominated by fellow teachers, students and parents to receive recognition monthly in the form of small gifts, such gift certificates and cash cards. At the end of the year, one nominee from each school is entered to win the one-year lease for the Cool Teachers Care car.

According to Danny Labrum, owner of Labrum Chevrolet, Buick and Ford in Heber, expanding on the existing Cool2Care program — which awards whole ownership of a brand-new car to one Wasatch High School student annually — was the logical way to thank teachers, as well.

“Teachers matter to every kid,” explained Labrum. “It’s a way to give back; a way to show our gratitude to the teachers for what they do for the community.”

Shawn Kelly, Wasatch County School District Director of Operations and Human Resources, pointed out, “Cool Teachers Care has given us the ability to reward teachers similarly to students. Thanks to the Labrums, a teacher can drive a new car for a year.”

He further noted that the local Mountainland One Stop also donates $1,500 toward gas to the winning teacher. “What a fantastic program to recognize our hard-working teachers,” Kelly said. “We are hopeful that this program will continue to grow, and are currently seeking more funding to expand the program at all schools.”

Anyone interested in supporting the Cool Teachers Care program at their local school should contact Shawn Kelly at [email protected]

I am a stubborn individual. Many times I have pondered whether this character attribute is, in fact, a virtue or a vice. I can see how being persistent in certain circumstances has led me to personal success. I can also see instances where my refusal to alter a course has brought unnecessary hardship to my life. I suppose the answer lies somewhere within the fabled words of Kenny Rogers in that you need to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Life is a gamble these days. The status quo that we knew — even one year ago — no longer exists. The paradigm is shifting to an undefined end. In our current social, political, and economic environment: victories are most often rewarded to those with the most flexibility. However, change is intimidating; and just like a game of cards, making the wrong choice can set you back farther than where you started. The weight of deciding how and when to change any variable of your life can be paralyzing. How does one determine when it is most prudent to stay the course or make a change?

Start by prioritizing regular time for personal introspection. Quiet and meditative time can open windows into your deeper self. I believe that there is a light within our consciousness that (being unaffected by all things temporal) can help us see how things are instead of how they appear. All you have to do is slow yourself down and detach from the world enough to catch a glimpse of that wisdom and light.

Ponder your situation and derive an implementable solution. There is little good in taking on problems that are outside of your sphere of influence. I turn to the oft-quoted ‘Serenity Prayer’ when mitigating stress or anxiety created by things that “I cannot change.”

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian, 1951

Sins of omission are real. With that stated: it is imperative to recognize that you, as an individual, have little to no control over certain things. Understanding this will help in prioritizing what an implementable change is and what it is not. If the ailment is something that you cannot do anything about — emotionally letting go of that thing could be the exact change needed to find your center again.

When looking to make the world a better place, it is imperative to get your foundation in order first. Make those changes in your own life that will allow you to be a shining example to others first. If you can define your unique personal values: you develop a base of support that will enable you to share yourself with others.

Strength and leadership principles originate in the home. The next place to implement change is at the family level. Strive to create harmony within the relationships that matter most. When outside personal and professional networks see a caring and confident human being with all of their personal affairs in order — they will be more inclined to hear your message.

My challenge to the Heber Valley is to make 2021 a better year than it’s predecessor. We have virtually no control over natural disasters, disease, or pestilence. We may not have much influence at the Federal or State levels of government. However, every individual CAN make changes that will affect their strength and happiness. You can choose to find gratitude in an environment ripe with fear and disaster. We can all positively influence those people that we interact with daily. That is within our control.

Thank you for supporting Heber Valley Life magazine. We live in the best mountain community in the American West. It is my genuine pleasure to highlight those that make it so every season of the year.