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Opinion: A classroom lesson with lasting impact

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The Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame boasts an impressive list of inaugural inductees, but the person who impressed me the most was not one of the three men. The courage of a fourth grader from Sunshine Elementary stood out as an example of the fine students that SPS produces.

My daughter, Karsen, was asked to sing the national anthem at the banquet. She practiced for weeks and nailed it during her sound check before the banquet. The time came for Karsen to perform when the most devastating thing for a singer occurred. The power had somehow been shut off to the CD player. With good intentions from a violinist, she was given a note to start at, but it was much too low. Karsen never flinched. She never doubted that she could make it through this ordeal. With all her might, she belted out the most beautiful rendition of The National Anthem, in a minor key and way off pitch. She never stopped smiling.

The audience was very supportive, but when she got to me the tears started rolling, for both of us. I took my daughter outside to calm her down and was joined by Jim Anderson, Debi Lee and my husband. After a quick pep talk, she was composed. Here is where it gets really impressive. My daughter chose to get back up in front of nearly 300 people and sing it again, minus the technical difficulties. With her nerves shot and her head held high, Karsen took the stage and sang again. The second time would prove to be much more successful. I am a proud mom, who learned a lesson from her 10-year-old daughter. Most people never would have gotten back up after what had just happened.

Karsen is an extraordinary example of what Springfield Public Schools can produce. I later asked her how she found the courage to try again. She simply said, “Mom, I just knew that all of my friends and teachers at Sunshine were back at school thinking about me, and I wanted to make them proud. I just pictured them cheering me on like they did at the talent show, and I knew I could do anything.”

The last thing she said about the whole situation was, “Mom, I really hope they ask me to sing again next year.”

—Kim Wrinkle, Springfield (Kim is married to SBJ Reporter Chris Wrinkle.)[[In-content Ad]]

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