Debra St. Hilaire or “Ms. Saint” as she is known at the high school is our May employee of the month. Ms. Saint has worked for the Fern Ridge School District since 2008. In her own words here is some insight into this deserving educator:
Of all the adventures experienced in life, the most life changing and cherished is my son. Henrik transformed me the moment he was born, I knew him as though he’d been in my life for eons. He has allowed me to love deeper and more completely than I could ever have imagined while bringing me endless joy! At 22, Henrik’s a reflective and conscientious young man being true to himself in finding his path. Initially enrolled in Astro-Physics at UCLA, he’s completed two years of medical work at a hospital and clinic, and contributed to three medical research studies. He competed in cycling, Judo, picked up bouldering, and bought himself a violin to “stretch” himself, eventually performing with UCLA’s Game Orchestra. Henrik graduates in June with majors in Economics and French. He loves the challenge of programming and data crunching and we have our fingers crossed that he lands his dream ‘gap year’ job at Rand Corporation in Los Angeles.
Things that make me ‘tick’… crisp air on my face while the rest of me remains warm. I love snow, sun, hiking, cycling, extended meandering walk-a-bouts and animal trails that get me lost within familiar territory, cross-country skiing, and road tripping with the flexibility to change routes or destination or pace. I’m addicted to designing and remodeling my home, and having my own tools so I can complete projects without hiring them out. I forgive myself when I make mistakes and take the freedom to laugh at them as I learn. I love sleeping under the stars on my roof every night of summer!
What Elmira students give to me is complete and unexpected. These kids bring me so much joy that I literally tear up when talking about them to others. They are ‘present’ and real, and supportive of each other in spite of differences. They have made my life incredibly full and I love soaking up their energy and innocence. When I describe what I do to friends, it feels as though I’m talking about ‘playtime’ because I get to have so much fun while guiding and tricking students into learning. Teaching these kids is by far the most rewarding, challenging and satisfying of all my professions, and I am profoundly fortunate! Thank you for sharing your kids with me.