Teacher, Troop 244 Leader, or Friend This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 29, 2011
I don’t remember the first time I met her, It might have been first grade; maybe it was second, but for as long as I can remember, she has been my hero, and I can’t help but to look up to her. This person I am talking about is a very inspiring person, she is kind-hearted, caring, funny, amazing, and a lot of other things; she is Rita Crowley. I have known Mrs. Crowley for a very long time. But before being a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Crowley was a Wilmington Mounted police officer. And that is where our relationship started; we both have a respect and passion for horses. After she retired from being a police officer, Mrs. Crowley wanted to make a difference in the world somehow; she decided she was going to do this by becoming a teacher. She taught at St. Anthony of Padua grade school. That’s where her career as a teacher started.

Mrs. Crowley participated in an after school activity, as well as being a teacher. She was one of the Girl Scout troop leaders of Troop 244. She became a troop leader because her daughter wanted to be a Girl Scout, and even after her daughter achieved the highest level of an Ambassador, she remained a troop leader. She works with all the age groups from the Daisies all the way up to the Ambassadors. The first time I met Mrs. Crowley, was when I joined Girl Scouts. She was one of my favorite people at Girl Scouts. She always came to scout meetings energetic and ready to make the girls excited and ready to work. She loves to watch the Daisies grow into mature young women. She was everyone’s favorite. She made everything fun, even if it wasn’t. She was a very creative troop leader.

When I was in second grade I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Crowley as a teacher. When I received the letter in the mail from her, telling me I was going to be in her class, I was ecstatic. To this day, second grade was my favorite year in school just because of the wonderful teacher. Every day when I would walk into her classroom, she would greet me with a giant smile and a ‘good morning Antonia, how are you’. Even when I was having the worst day, she would cheer me up just by smiling. Like every class we had to learn, but she made learning fun. We would play games to learn everything from spelling words to songs in her class. If you were lucky and won the game, you got to go to her prize box, which was filled with goodies. You also got to go to the prize box after a week of having a green light for behavior. The most memorable thing about Mrs. Crowley’s class was Patch, our class pet. He was a little Patch work ‘Beany Baby’ dog that everyone absolutely adored. Another great memory was that Mrs. Crowley had two of her friends, one who was K-9 Wilmington police officer, and the other an officer, come in and talk to us about their job and their dog’s job. It was the most fun in-class field trip.

That was the last year Mrs. Crowley was a second grade teacher; she was moved to teach middle school. Between second grade and fifth grade, I couldn’t wait to be in sixth grade. I just wanted to be in Mrs. Crowley’s class again. When sixth grade rolled around, I was in her Langue Arts class. That made me so happy. I had Mrs. Crowley at the end of the day, and for most kids they hate their last class because they just wanted to go home. I loved it; I wished I could have stayed in that class forever. The happy, cheerful teacher I remembered from second grade was the exact same person. The only difference was that she treated us as young adults not children. She taught us how to be responsible for our actions, and she set the foundation of our time management and study skills. Even though she was strict, she was forgiving and easy going. She still had her prize box and everyone’s favorite game ‘sparkle’. We would play sparkle to help study for the vocabulary test we were going to have the next day. And if a student had a problem, she was there for them. St. Anthony’s had a counselor for the students, but I would always go to talk to her about my day, and if it was bad, she would tell me everything was going to be okay. She would make me feel better. No matter how bad things got, she was there for me; when I had nobody else to turn to in school, she was always there. She made me a better person and always brought me up when everyone else was trying to put me down.

Now that I am in high school, I appreciate everything Mrs. Crowley did for me more than ever. This is why I am nominating Mrs. Crowley for Educator of the Year. Because of her I am a strong willed person. She would tell me that she could see how bad things would be for me and she would tell me that if I overlook all of it and just keep going I will be a better person. At the time I was hesitant to believe her, but I did, and she was right; I am a better person. Mrs. Crowley has done a lot for the community and for all the kids she has taught. I want to say thank you to her for everything she has done, offered to do, and for all the advice she has given. She is like a second mother to me; she has watched me grow up and our relationship has blossomed as well. She started off as a person I liked to see at Girl Scouts, and she became a person that has left a footprint in my heart. And even now when I see her in church, I still see the strong independent woman I saw almost 10 years ago when I first met her. And even though she has resigned from her teaching job last week, she is still the best teacher I have ever had.

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