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Wendi's Word A column by Wendi Reardon

Holiday heroes

December 19, 2012 - I remember when I was in elementary school and was asked who my hero was. I felt like it was an odd question mostly because it was singular.

I have never been one to come to a decision on one solely option. I picked heroes.

As I have gotten older, the list has grown and as we head into Christmas with a tragedy on our minds and a retching pain in our hearts from last Friday it's time to celebrate heroes this holiday season.

As news reports came out from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I began to shut out the repeated information about the gunman. All I could think about was the students, staff and the entire community.

Out of the stories came another sad one about Victoria Soto, a first grade teacher, who was shot and killed while shielding her students from the gunman. She gave her life for her students.

A teacher shouldn't have to worry about having to shield his or her students from a threat. But I haven't met a teacher who wouldn't.

It's not just Soto who is a hero, it is every teacher. It's what they do in the classroom, what they do for their students when the classrooms are empty and when they are doing a little bit extra.

They have superpowers those heroes. They can whip out their board and show students a new way to solve a problem, introduce them to new books and new ideas and they can plant a problem in their students' heads and watch what ideas they come up with to solve the problem.

They look over the students inside and outside of the classroom. Some make sure students have enough change for a bite to eat or donate/volunteer with organizations to further help students like Blessings in a Backpack.

Besides teachers there are other heroes out there hidden in the Clarkston community - members of the transportation department for gathering toys and food donations for the Lighthouse of Clarkston.

Not to mention everyone who donated during the holiday season for families could have a great holiday.

For anyone making today a better tomorrow for someone else, you are a hero and thank you.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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