Last night, Laurel spoke to the school board to thank them for their support of gifted education, and PEGS in particular. She was a bundle of nerves all day, was bouncing off the walls, and by the time we left for the meeting, I’d had it. We barely beat an intense gullywasher, and in order to enter, we walked through a crowd of teachers who were upset about recent contract news.
In homage to the atmosphere, Laurel added a phrase to her speech, in the last paragraph – “and I ask that you continue to do so.” This was her subtle way of encouraging the Board to negotiate with the teachers.
Anyway, Laurel spoke in front of probably 150 people, and she did so in such a manner that anyone there would think she’d given speeches all her life.
Way to go, Laurel! I’m sure everyone was proud of you, but most importantly, you should be proud of yourself.
The video and transcript:
“My name is Laurel ——, and I am a PEGS student. I just want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful that have made it possible for me to be here.
Ladies and gentlemen, being in normal school was boring to me. I would finish all my work, and then I would start fiddling around with something; a shoelace, a pencil, an eraser, whatever I had. But most of all, I would take a book from under my desk and start reading.
Now, reading is not a bad thing. However, when I read, I tune out everything. Including the teacher. And then I would get in trouble for that. Each and every day. That’s at least a hundred and seventy days a year. I spent three years there.
PEGS helped me by putting me in the right environment with students and teachers that understand me. The biggest and best thing for me is that now I’m surrounded by kids working at the same level I am. And I am able to work on challenging projects without getting bored.
I’m grateful that you’ve stood up for gifted kids – not everyone does. I’m happy that you have listened to me and others. I’m happy that you’ve funded and supplied PEGS in the worst of times, and I ask that you continue to do so. But what makes me happiest is that you are the ones making PEGS possible. Thank you.”