To The Editor:

The summer months have passed quickly, as they always do, when you are an educator.

This summer, for me, was filled with squeezing in a family vacation trip to Florida, time with family, grandkids and friends, honey-do jobs around the house, cutting wood (in my case), spending lots of time at the computer and some astronomy.

Usually, at this point in the summer, I am subconsciously trying to gear myself up to teach another school year, but trying not to focus too much on the classroom, so I can make my summer last a little longer.

That is not the case this year, since I retired from public school teaching at the end of last school year. I still plan to substitute in the classroom and continue astronomy outreach as a member of the Eastern Missouri Dark Sky Observers Astronomy Club.

However, as summer is drawing to a close, there is one thing that I must do before the community embarks on a new school year.

I want to publicly thank the WINGS (Washington’s Investment in Great Schools) Foundation and specifically Dr. Jerry Chambers and the Missourian Publishing Co. who are the award’s co-sponsors for recognizing my teaching contributions through the WINGS Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

It is such an honor to receive the recognition that this award bestows along with the financial gift of $1,000. I commit to use these monies in the future to further astronomy outreach in our community.

I also want to thank the WINGS board, Dr. Chambers and the staff of The Missourian and the Miller family for their commitment to support excellence on the part of educators in our community.