Welcome back - by Dr. Hal Brunson

True story . . .

When UT, Dallas, conferred my doctorate (which, honestly, I never thought I deserved, much less would achieve, still feel unworthy) . . .

I wanted to call two teachers:

Miss Frederick, my fifth grade teacher at East Side Elementary School in Jacksonville, Texas (I had visited her through the years); and,

Mrs. Fairly, my senior English teacher at R. H. Watkins High School in Laurel, Mississippi;

. . . neither of whom, especially Mrs. Fairly, had any reason to believe that I was anything other than an amusing annoyance.

So, I called both schools:

East Side Elementary – “Miss Frederick passed away in 19** . . . , ”

  1. H. Watkins – “Mrs. Fairly passed away in 19** . . . “

I put down my flip phone and shed a few tears, remembering that Mrs. Frederick’s first name was


and Mrs. Fairly’s first name,


a reminder that influential teachers are . . .

jewels . . .

God bless all the jewels at WCA who are about to “make a difference” . . .


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