I started this post last week...just couldn't get through it...then this past Saturday Mary Jo Kaser...a teacher for 37 years with SB Schools...passed away. She was only 59 years old and died of cancer...She had a HUGE impact on my life!
All people that you meet influence your life...some impact you deeply...then others help to shape your future in ways that you don't even realize at the time. Mary Jo was one of those people for me. When I first met her about 10 years ago...I wanted to teach and live in the South Bend area...I had been teaching in Bremen and living and going to church here in SB...Kels and I had prayed and prayed and decided that SB was for us...so I contacted Mary Jo about getting a job here in SB. I had never met her before but had heard AMAZING things about her...they were all true!
Mary Jo worked hard to get me into the school system...and since I have been teaching here she has been a BIG encouragement to me...her passion for kids...teaching...in making things the best possible for her teachers...she was AMAZING. Her "job" was "Fine Arts Curriculum Facilitator" and she was fantastic at her job.
When I was looking to become a pastor and needed to move to part-time teaching, she worked HARD to help me make it happen...THEN...after leaving the schools for a couple years...last fall...she worked and worked and worked and worked to help me find a job that would fit with my schedule...GOD USED HER to get me 3 jobs over the past 8 years...and those jobs allowed me to continue to follow what I believe God has called me to do.
When I took time off, I would occasionally stop by her office in downtown to talk...see how life and the schools were doing...every time I left there, she encouraged me...
I will miss those talks...her laugh...her encouragement...I hurt for her boys and her grandchildren...I ache for my fellow teachers and administrators that loved her...timing doesn't make sense...she is still young...I know she will be greatly missed...deeply missed...she invested her life in people and it showed yesterday at her funeral as MANY came...tears flowed from my eyes as I watched her family...it also made me thankful...thankful that our bodies and her body is only a tent...that her spirit was not there...she was with her Savior...I was also glad that I had the opportunity to know her. I'm a better person because of it!