Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels in our Midst (Carolyn McLendon)

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:43 PM CDT
Carolyn McLendon always loved math, science and engineering. She wanted to be a doctor but in the 1960's, there weren't many opportunities for women in that field.

Ms. McLendon brought her passion to another career and did the work of the "Angels in our Midst."

Carolyn;  In my college, there were only two women in chemistry so it was a pretty narrow field.  I wanted to go to medical school desperately.  They took one in a class of 100 men.

With doors closed to her, carolyn mclendon found herself in pensacola with an offer to teach and a chance to "open" doors for others.

Carolyn McLendon, Washington High Retiring Chemistry Teacher;  While my opportunities may have been limited in one respect, they have been greater because I have a lot more opportunities to affect their future.  Many, many of my young ladies hold Ph.D.s in chemistry and pharmacology.

For 43 years, ms. Mclendon has been pushing her students to always do their best.  Honors and a-p chemistry can be pretty challenging courses but she's had to meet challenges right along with them.

You have to change your style a little bit; become more tech savvy, become more knowledgeable about where their life is and how my subject matter is going to relate to where they will be in the future.

Former students remember her caring for them as individuals and making a complex subject relevant.

Latasha McGruder, Washington High Literacy Coach;  Where do I start.  Ms. McClendon, she was a dynamic chemistry teacher first and foremost.  She has the ability to break down chemistry so that every child can understand it.

I remind them, we can't all be doctors, we can't all be teachers.  We need plumbers and electricians.  Every job that you have is important so teaching them the value to pursue what they love and to value themselves.

As she prepares to close the book on another school year and her teaching career, carolyn mclendon leaves a legacy in dozens of former students who are now teachers and school administrators.

Latasha;  She is definitely one of those teachers that I looked up to. And seeing her as a colleague now and seeing what she does behind the scenes, makes me respect her even more. 

Now, she's going off to be nana to her grandchildren, enjoy her other passion, art and to remember it's just a time to reflect on your life and hope you've made a difference.

Taking care of people is a very important business and a classroom teacher impacts a lot of lives.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.Angels in our Midst (Carolyn McLendon)

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