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It’s a Small World after all

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Well, that’s the truest statement ever … at least for me apparently!  About a year ago, I was casually perusing through a silent auction here at Southwest.  To my surprise, I saw someone I knew, but for the life of me I could not place where I knew her from.  Then it dawned on me, “Oh my goodness, that’s my ninth grade Debate Coach, Lisa Tiller!”  Well, sure enough I walked up and asked, “Do I know you?”  She replied, “Oh my goodness.” 

Fifteen years had passed since I was in the ninth grade, so we re-introduced ourselves and recalled memories from North Little Rock High School Debate Class.  Ms. Tiller, or “Tiller” as we called her, because any self-respecting high school student knows that you only refer to the cool teachers by their last name, was indeed our cool teacher.  But, more than that, she was an influence in my life that I don’t think she even realizes.  See, before ninth grade I was a quiet kid, and if you know me now, you might be quite surprised by that statement.  It was that year that I began to develop myself and my communication skills through Debate class.  We learned to research, analyze, and communicate our thoughts on many political and social hot topics.  All of these are skills I use in my current career as an Instructional Designer.  But, there was something else that I learned in my four years of Debate—I built a foundation that provided me with the drive to achieve my dreams and also the passion of being a lifelong learner. 

Lisa Tiller, thank you for being a significant and valuable influence in my life.  As you are still teaching and leading others as a Facilitator for Southwest, I can only imagine that your Teammembers are as lucky as I was to be trained by you.