Friday, November 30, 2018

Tell Them Before You Have to Say Goodbye

Today a great school closed down due to flood damage from earlier this year. 

Old Peachtree Montessori in Auburn, Georgia served 1,000's of children and parents in their 24 years. It made its impact with all ages from 8 weeks to 6th grade, instilling a love of learning.

The owner and acting principal, Gus Garcia made this school stand out not only with its beauty, but its love for all people and the belief that all children were capable to achieve their personal best. 

Today I sent this letter to Gus to thank him for the impact he has had on our family. 

Oh, how I wish I had written this before those doors closed for the last time today. We often wait until the very end to tell people how we feel or to express our true gratitude.

I hope this letter encourages you today to write someone a letter of encouragement, or tell someone thank you in person, or make a phone call to let someone know how much you appreciate them. 

If we can do this before the Goodbye, we can let others know how much they matter to our lives and our communities. We can give others a gift by telling them what they mean to us and give gratitude for their presence in our lives.

Mr. Gus,
We first want to tell you we adore you. Your legacy will continue to go on, through the children you have taught.

I remember when I first had the girls, every day I would imagine my children at a school that would help them grow academically, build a love for learning, and teach them to embrace others, and be kind. Not knowing how to find this place, we prayed for it, knowing God would make it happen. 

The place we prayed for was your school, Old Peachtree Montessori. Not only did you have the school, but you and your staff worked before and after school so teacher's children could attend.

I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for our children Gus.

I truly cannot.

God has given all of us the BEST gift. He gave us You and He gifted You to have the heart to open a beautiful school, teach in it, and give your heart to these children. Your gift will continue to be given through the children you taught and their children and their children and their children.

You have left a great imprint on this community and I hope you know the legacy you have left.

You sir changed the way I taught, These last 5 years you helped me see my classroom could be better, it could be more inviting, that I didn't need assigned seating, that I could teach manners, and that I could be the most loving person for my students.

You helped me learn to be kinder and calmer, You taught me young children could do more than I could imagine. You taught me not to cap children because they can excel further than their age is expected to, and you helped me see that getting students to see they are capable is half the battle. 

You are one of the most impactful people I have ever known and one of the most selfless. Truly. 

Thank you for making great waves of change in this world. Thank you for making every student and parent feel like they were your world. Our girls feel like they can accomplish anything they set their mind to with hard work and heart.

We Love You,
The Stanton Family

Alana Stanton is a kindergarten and technology specials teacher at Mulberry Elementary in Gwinnett County, Georgia. She has taught several grades over her 14 year career including K-3 literacy special, first grade, second grade, and kindergarten. Alana believes that relationships always come first in the classroom and the classroom should be a place where students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. She currently writes for her blog, More Than A Lesson where she shares the stories of her classroom and her heart.


  1. An especially important message at any time of the year, but needed now. With the holidays coming, we get mired in the minute of the every day. But, you encourage us to be still and embrace the peace of what others have done for us. Thank you, Alana.

  2. Gratitude makes the world a better place and relationships stronger! So great that you recognized Gus for his incredible gift of “making great waves of change”. Beautiful, Alana!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Alana - your message is clear!

  4. Wow , wow , wow , wow !!!! What a impact this is , wow !!!! Wow !!! Can’t believe it closed. Thank you for your vision wow , forever changed Gus , the staff will never know my good faithful servant wow ! He completed his mission !!! From the time he opened until the doors closed ! God has done big things for you this year wow , to see it so clearly ! Wow , most beautiful letter ever , to know how you changed as a teacher , a family ! I have learned to be different to see you , you are right they have excelled more than we could have imagined. Thank you for reminding the love to send to our loved ones , those that matter! This was the perfect timing because as Mr Gus new mission he gets to do the dreams he is meant to do ! We pray for him, the staff and your community . As one reader said what a perfect time before the holidays to really live this. Thank you Stanton family for your life change . Thank you Mr Gus for making a impact on all these little ones . Thank you for that window into the amazing school and amazing change it has served !