Friday, October 23, 2020

"A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning." Brad Henry

                                                                    Quote Fancy 

On Tuesday evening, I attended at Delta Kappa Gamma (notable women educators) meeting at the Senator John J. Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.  The current exhibit on loan is Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh: Works from the National Portrait Gallery.
I was delighted to see an amazing and lifelike portrait of my late friend Arnold Palmer in his pink Laurel Valley jacket, along with many surprise portraits of people with Pittsburgh connections, such as Fred Rogers, Willa Cather, and August Wilson..  

During the presentation part of our meeting, a young man named Robert Stakeley, History Center Affiliates Program Coordinator (Bob is a former student of some of our members) discussed the various exhibits and collections owned by the History Center. He talked about the contributions of ordinary citizens, who follow their passions to collect items and share their enthusiasm for collecting with others.  Robert talked about the late Mr. Lehew, whose collection of all things Heinz, was donated to the the History Center.  That collection is the largest corporate collection amassed by an individual. At that point, Robert talked about igniting one's passion, and he shared a tidbit of personal news.  Bob said that he has always loved learning, because of the teachers who inspired him to learn.  He has a new book debuting in December, Digital Storytelling as Public History: A Guidebook for Educators. (Routledge Press), and in that book, as a sign of appreciation, he listed the name of every teacher he ever had in school, from kindergarten to college. .  This revelation made many of us in the audience quite teary-eyed, and I thought to myself, "What an amazing tribute!  I need to share this beautiful gesture in my blog." With Bobs permission, I am doing just that! 

So often, teachers are viewed as glorified babysitters and public servants.  I hope the pandemic has changed that perception, as parents attempt to help educate their children from home.  Bob's verbal and published kudos to so many educators touched my heart, and I hope it touches yours.

If you would like to find out more about Robert's book, take a look at this link: 

For an example of a digital story (and how a historical society can use the “finished” or final piece), please reference “A Town Called Donora” at (it is located about half-way down the page):

I was a teacher for 37 years, and even as a retired person and writer, I am still teaching.  I just can't help myself.  I am so pleased when people in fields other than Education ignite and perpetuate the love for learning. 

If you have the chance, please visit the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Their exhibits are both informative and inspiring.  Thank you, Bob Stakeley, for your love of learning and your appreciation of teachers who cultivated your imagination. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestionsRittman 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 or we will come into YOUR classroom via  and a company called 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 web page 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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