Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

July 2, 2014

GUEST COMMENTARY: Gardner’s influence lives on in successes of students

GLASGOW — This past Tuesday, the community of Glasgow lost one of its most dedicated and admired members. Mrs. Sandra Gardner was, among many things, a loving wife and mother, a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church and an educator in the Glasgow Independent Schools for the better part of 35 years. I had the distinct privilege of knowing Sandra Gardner for my entire life. I could offer anecdotes or share my remembrances of Mrs. Gardner’s life, and there would be many, but I think it more prudent to celebrate Mrs. Gardner, the teacher.

I am one of thousands in a generation of students who called Mrs. Gardner teacher. Some of you might recall Mrs. Gardner in other positions in the Glasgow school system – I remember her as the eighth-grade language arts and speech and drama teacher at Glasgow Middle School. What a brave and difficult task, teaching the foundations of communication to adolescents in what is arguably their most awkward and impressionable period of life. Could we have had a better shepherd?

In all aspects of her life, Mrs. Gardner exuded strength and confidence, especially in her classroom.  Her belief in a student’s potential was unmatched and she required the very best from any and all. She possessed the unique ability to reach into us and extract a confidence that we didn’t know was there. I know it is a cliché, but she truly helped us find our voice – figuratively and literally.

Through speech and drama, Mrs. Gardner opened us up to many forms of expression – prose, poetry, acting, improvisation and public speaking. She championed our speech and drama program and molded it into one of the best and most respected in the state. The accolades her students received were many, but none could match the importance of the foundation that she built in them.

The community of Glasgow celebrates more than its fair share of success stories, many of which are covered in Mrs. Gardner’s fingerprints. I consider myself fortunate to have studied under what I consider to be a golden age of Glasgow educators, Mrs. Gardner included. On the surface, they taught us facts and figures, but their real value came in the shaping of a generation of Glasgow’s finest young adults – a generation that not only reached for the stars, but seized them with the very confidence found in Mrs. Gardner’s classroom.

On Tuesday, our community lost a champion, an educator and a friend. Although Mrs. Gardner is no longer with us, the impression she left on this and other communities is ever present. We should all consider ourselves blessed to have had Mrs. Sandra Gardner in our lives.

Marrs, of Lexington, is a 1997 graduate of Glasgow High School.

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