Our daughter Emily graduated last weekend with her Masters of Science Degree in School Administration.
Going back to school as a full-time working parent is not for the faint of heart.
But there is nothing faint of heart about our Emily. When she sets her mind on something, you can bet your bottom dollar that she won't give up until it happens.
A couple of years ago, after teaching high school math for more than 10 years, Emily set her mind on a higher goal: school administration.
And so it began, taking classes online one at a time, working toward the required masters degree in order to be licensed as a school administrator. All the while continuing her teaching career, and maneuvering through the foster care system to eventually adopt two children.
Oh...and she also did some coaching and sponsoring extra-curricular activities along the way. Emily doesn't let grass grow under her feet, that's for sure.
I honestly don't know how she did it. But in true Emily fashion, she did.
On Saturday, we were very proud to witness her receive her degree at the commencement ceremony at Indiana Wesleyan University. Kim and I joined Zach and the children as we watched her walk in with her classmates.
On the far right is Joe Bennett, a Shenandoah teaching colleague of Emily's, who also completed the same Masters program as Emily. I know having someone else to share the journey with was certainly an encouragement to both of them.
I'm sure there were many times when Em considered throwing in the towel, wondering if this day would ever come. She was giddy with excitement that it truly was happening!
Indiana Wesleyan University President Dr. David Wright...
The Commencement Address was given by Dr. Peter McGowan, co-founder of Storyland Studios, who spoke on faith and creativity.
It really was by far the best college graduation we have ever attended because everything was done from a Christian standpoint. As much as we love Indiana University, the secularism there is sometimes over the top. It was so refreshing to see education and faith coexist.
Joe walking up to get his diploma...
...with Emily close behind him.
One happy girl, right there!
Flipping the tassels...always a highlight of any graduation ceremony!
Just before the recessional, this student spoke a few words about perseverance and encouragement. He has severe cerebral palsy and was not expected to survive, let alone achieve a college degree. Very inspirational and a wonderful way to end the ceremony!
It would have been a lot easier on everyone to leave Ellie and Koda with a sitter (it was a LONG ceremony for Zach as he wrestled Koda for 2 1/2 hours), but Emily wanted them there to see what hard work and commitment can achieve. Always the teacher/role model...
The kiddos were excited for her, even though they really had no idea what it was all about. But they knew this was a special day for their Mommy and that was enough!
When Ellie saw the diplomas stacked on the stage, she thought each graduate was getting a new laptop. She was disappointed it was only a certificate inside a fancy folder. But oh, what that certificate represents...
As we were leaving, Joe and his wife Tia and their family were celebrating his achievement as well.
The two newest Shenandoah educators who are now licensed school administrators!
Praise God for...