Letters from the Heart

Day 6


This evening our school board recognized several  staff and community members by bestowing the Award of Distinction upon them. It was a diverse group of students, custodians, volunteers, office managers, teachers, educational assistants and principals. Each nominee and recipient was selected based on their package of letters of support; selections of which provided the narrative for each person or group of people as they walked across the front of auditorium and shook the hands of the Director and the Trustees.  The committee did an outstanding job of weaving together portions of the 10 or so letters, (which would have made up the nomination package) into a cohesive, heartwarming tribute.  There were similar themes of dedication, innovation, commitment, caring, compassion and love for their job and yet each narrative was personalized and shared with such regard and respect.

I tip my hat to the composers of the letters. It takes skill and creativity to craft a meaningful letter, when you greatly admire someone and want to express why they deserve such an honour.

And what an incredible gift, each one of those nominees and recipients will be receiving as their package of letters is presented to them. We often talk about the power of words.  They have the ability to heal, to hurt, to calm, to enrage, to unite, to untie, to love and to deny.  For tonight’s honourees, the words within those letters will bring a range of emotions.

I wonder why we often wait for special occasions to use our words to uplift others.

When was the last time you crafted a letter to someone, sharing what a positive influence they’ve had on your life?


Come write with me…… or better yet, write to   someone who needs to know how much they  mean  to you!

4 thoughts on “Letters from the Heart

  1. Yes, I recall clearly how thrilled you were when Susan Nugent won the Award of Distinction. She was clearly a highly respected educator who deserved such an honour.

  2. Having been a recipient of that award many years ago I can honestly attest to the overwhelming emotional feeling one gets when you read the letters people wrote on your behalf. For me the award was very moving but the person who nominated me also created a binder of all the collected letters and comments. To this day THAT is what I treasure more than the actual award. I always thought the person who does all that work nominating and collecting the letters and making sure they get in on time should also get the award along side the person winning. I was fortunate enough to have that dream come true when just a few years later the person who nominated me won her own Award of Distinction.

    But there is another side to these letters. As I read over the ones I got that insecure little boy inside of me kept wondering if someone had to be prodded into writing that letter. But NO, the ego screams out – everyone wanted to write those wonderful things! And yet over the years that this award has been given time and again I’ve been asked by various people, “What should I say?” “What do you mean?” I’d ask! “Oh, I’ve been asked to write one of those letters and I just don’t know what to say!” At that point I don’t know where it goes. But I often wonder how many people never got the chance to win an award because people couldn’t take the time to find something nice to say about another. And the corollary, how many won with letters which should have never been written, were in-sincere or downright dishonest.

    It’s probably good that we will never know, but I wonder those things some days.

  3. I recall as a school principal, I wrote each staff member a letter in the summer time (both my Fox and Wilfrid Jury staff), thanking them for their dedication to the school community and highlighting something memorable that they accomplished that year. This summer, I should revisit that and mail letters to my current “system level” staff. I was amazed at their reaction to actually receiving something in the mail. I’m wondering if in our world of technology, we’ve lost the treasure of opening a letter. I still have an old hat box filled with letters and notes that I received in my childhood and into my early twenties. It’s hard to compare that box to my current “inbox”

  4. I was hoping your post for today would be a reflection of last nights wonderful celebration. It was wonderful to hear the words that family, friends, colleagues and students used to describe the honourees .

    When I was a classroom teacher I used to write a letter to each of my students at the end of the year. I reflected on what they brought to our classroom community, shared my wishes for their years ahead and thanked them for their contributions. Years later I still here from students wanting to share their accomplishments and the wishes that had come true.

    The funny thing is that I am not the best writer but when I am writing a thank you note or letter the words come easily and I don’t over think things, the power of writing a letter.

    Thanks for sharing Sue

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