Thursday, January 31, 2019

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams

I attended the North Allegheny Distinguished Alumni Gala in January 28, 2019. For those who are not familiar with North Allegheny School District, it is located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, PA, and referred by many as "The University of North Allegheny."  The District is rated at the top of many polls for academics and athletics, and NA boasts scientists, doctors, lawyers, college presidents, astronauts, film makers, musicians, Broadway stars, professional athletes, and even a former Congresswoman as graduates.  School standards and teacher expectations are high, and the rigorous course work provides great preparation for both college and life. 

The evening was one to remember. Last year's honorees introduced the winners for this year, and threads of humor, grace, and appreciation for North Allegheny intertwined through the comments and presentations. Each honoree spoke about the "lift in life" received from North Allegheny and the the District's fine programs and teachers. Many singled out a teacher or coach who made a difference in their particular life, and many discussed their respect for both the staff and the District. For so many, the relationship they had with just one teacher propelled them to move toward greatness. 

Several of my former students were honored, so I was so happy to attend.  In my opinion, teachers never see a "finished product" the way other professions do;  builders, lawyers, carpenters, doctors, plumbers can all point to a finished product. For me, seeing this group's individual and overall achievements was humbling and uplifting, and also, their acceptance speeches provided a "finished product" for all to see. The audience had the rare chance to see how the seeds of education sown so many years ago have blossomed and flowered, spreading more seeds throughout the world.  As a former teacher, I was filled with pride for each awardee, and I was also filled with gratitude that I was so fortunate to be a teacher at North Allegheny for 35 years. The entire evening was so inspiring that I found myself  wishing that all of my retired colleagues could be in that room to bask in the success of these outstanding individuals. 

Please click on this link to see the many accomplishments of the evening's awardees, and you will see why I was so thrilled to be a part of this Gala!  "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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