Special Ks: A. Kelly, a Kayla, and a Kendyl

By Andy Evans

Distance learning.  Remember that tough, surreal, bizarre time that took an immeasurable toll on all of us? I taught from my closet.  I had 35 students in a class, but I could not see any faces.  Voices were quiet, cameras were off, the chat was empty.  Was I making a difference?  Is there anybody in there? Just nod, if you can hear me.  Eventually, darkness washed over me.  Then a light….a beacon.  Actually, three shimmering lighthouses beckoned! Bright beams guided me back from the edge to reality.  I’m referring to the editors of The Shield.

First, I saw the drive of Alessandra Kelly for her passion: ballet.  Alessandra performs for the Los Gatos Ballet where she commits to 24 hours of practice a week.  In fact, since she’s been with this company since she was 7, that’s about 12 thousand hours of practice.  What are we talkin’ ‘bout? Practice?  Her true grit earned her the lead role of the Snow Queen in the upcoming classic: The Nutcracker.  Please visit this site to see when her performances will be.  Alessandra’s persistence, her resolve reminded me that I, as well, have something to hold steadfast to: providing knowledge to my students.

Second, a ray of sunshine came in the form of  Kayla Kim.  This superstar always bounces around the room with energy, enthusiasm, and positivity.  If you check Kayla’s DNA, I’d swear you’d find some Tigger.  Don’t be surprised if Kayla starts singing, “The wonderful things about Kaylas are Kaylas are wonderful things.  They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.  But the most wonderful thing about Kaylas is I’m the only one.”  Another amazing note about Kayla—she remains upbeat even though she has suffered her fair share of setbacks.  Her two ACL surgeries and 3 meniscus repairs definitely put the damper on her soccer career.  Still she stays cheerful, and I knew that I needed to emulate her and find the optimism in life.

Third of all, Kendyl Brower provided another spark through her originality.  Creative, ingenious, inventive, innovative, original. A wonder woman with slideshows, Kendyl transformed boring documents for LIFE Crew and Journalism into eye-catching, entertaining presentations.  Assign her artwork, her efforts glimmer.  Assign her an essay, her syntax dazzles.  Assign her a speech, her words glow. Her inventive ideas also include solidifying friendships as she organized her close friends to purchase kid backpacks for school this fall; Kendyl selecting a My Little Pony version, of course.  Kendyl’s creativity proved infectious, reminding me to find innovative ideas to kindle the interests of my students.

Kids these days are truly Special, K?  Thank you to all of our wonderful Westmont students for brightening our days.

A special shoutout to the editors of The Shield.  Thank you, Alessandra. Thank you, Kayla.  Thank you, Kendyl.  To misquote Buzz Lightyear:  “To The Shield’s trinity and beyond!”