LEA Cincinnati

26 03 2011

Both of my parents are educators, something that is so near and dear to my heart.  And, while I never wanted to be a teacher myself, I admire them greatly and believe that teachers have the most important jobs in the world.  My father is a choir director and my mother is fifth grade teacher at a smaller Lutheran school in my hometown of Seymour.  I grew up in a Lutheran home, am a member of the Lutheran Church and attended a Lutheran School.  I am tremendously thankful for my upbringing and my firm foundation in my faith and am tremendously thankful to have opportunities on a regular basis to give back to those that gave me so much.

This past weekend, I had one of those opportunities at the Lutheran Education Association Convention in Cincinnati, OH.  It was the biggest audience I have ever spoken in front of…2,600 people in all.  The center was busting at the seams with Lutheran Educators that came together from all across the country, including one particularly special educator; my Mom!

The night of the 25th, I stood in front of that huge audience and gave an hour-long presentation about how to keep your faith with you on your journey.  The theme of the evening was “Crossing Over.”  There have been many times where I have had to cross over in my life.  Every decision I make everyday allows me an opportunity to cross over to another path and new direction.  I was able to pinpoint several key examples, especially from my time as Miss America 2009.  I was also able to talk about how my mother had just crossed over into the 21st Century by sending her first text message that very same night!!

It was an incredible evening, topped off by honoring some of the most outstanding Lutheran educators and sharing two of my favorite songs with the audience; “Via Dolorosa,” and “Be Thou My Vision.”

After such a huge night, I was ready for rest and relaxation, but my job was not done yet.  The next morning, I was able to make another presentation to a much smaller crowd of 100 people about listening to our call.  It was so special getting to spend some quality time with my Mom and sharing with a community I care so deeply about.

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