341/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. In teacher world, the normality is to teach other people’s children. People that you don’t know. However, sometimes you end up teaching people you know through friendships or familial relationships. For me, that hasn’t really ever happened except very early in my career, I substitute taught (one of only two times in my life) and ended up with my cousin and his friends in my class. What does happen for me – quite often – is that my teacher friends have ended up teaching my children. Many of them saw them as babies and then ended up having them in their classroom. Yes, it’s awkward for my kids, my friends and me but all parties have gotten used to it. Ornella is one of these teacher friends who ended up teaching my daughter – the daughter that she saw me bring to Burnett when we both taught together. Ornella ended up being her counsellor in high school and I am so, so very glad that that ended up happening. My daughter had a great tight-knit group of friends in elementary school. The graduating grade 7 class went on to two different high schools – 80% to Steveston and 20% to McMath (at that time, it has reversed the other way around for my son seven years later). Unfortunately for my daughter, her entire friendship group ended up at Steveston and she was lone warrior to battle McMath and what a battle it became because of the mean girls who accompanied her from Westwind. She wanted to transfer to the school I taught at and I entertained those notions until Ornella phones me and gave me friend to friend, parent to parent and counsellor to parent advice which was to stop giving her an out. She may struggle that first year but Ornella would be there for her to guide her and get her in the right classes. I remember my daughter going to see Ornella to figure things out and I felt at ease to know that I had a friend in my corner to help my child out. Besides being an advocate for my daughter, Ornella and I have a good friendship. Yes, we haven’t seen each other in ages (which will be remedied this weekend) but oh the laughs and stories we share when we do get together – she remembers every Randy-ism that has taken place and sadly there have been many and I’m sure I will be hearing about a few this weekend but I look forward to it because it comes from a place of friendship. Thank you Ornella for being there for my daughter and for being an awesome friend to me!!