Dorothy from Kansas. That's who she was. I mean, really. And she was one of the most important people in my life.
Though her actual name was Dorothy, everyone called her Kitten. Kitten Keith, a rather whimsical name for the woman who was to become a devoted elementary school teacher, school principal, and one of the most respected school administrators in Sonoma County. At the end of her illustrious career, she was addressed as Dr. Keith, a much more apt calling than Kitten for a woman of her many talents.
When I was a new teacher, she took me under her wing. As I developed my own teaching style, she encouraged me and became my friend and colleague. Eventually she became my principal, and the nurturing never stopped as the years progressed.
She died in 2002, my last year of teaching before I retired. Though I no longer need her professional advice, I miss my friend and all she gave to me. Like Dorothy from Kansas, she landed in my Oz at just the right time, bringing me lessons that would inspire me in my career and my life. I'll never forget her.
Check out what else is happening at Sepia Saturday.