Dear Tom,

My wife and I met in college and have been married for 22 years. She has been a Special Education teacher for over 20 years AND was one of the first African American Teachers to be named District Teacher of the year back in 2008.

Dorothea pushes her students to excel and to always give 110 percent.  We have two boys and I know it must be tough for them to have a teacher for a mom – but they have truly benefited from her unique teaching style.

A few months ago, she walked into the room and noticed that I was choking. She performed the Heimlich maneuver and I coughed out a piece of the apple I was eating. Now, I’m a pretty big guy so for her to get her arms all the way around me was an accomplishment in and of itself. I really thought she was going to have to jump up & down on me like a trampoline!

4 days later, while she was on lunch duty in the school cafeteria, a 5th grader was struggling to breathe so she jumped right in did the Heimlich Maneuver and a slice of mandarin orange flew out of his mouth saving his life.

That’s two lives in four days – but my wife is very modest and thinks nothing of it.  She is truly God’s gift to me, our children and all her former students.