Students Say: Vinny Chiaramonte (AL '17)January 17, 2019
Thoughtful words from a current or former student brighten every educator's day. In this occasional series, we'll share notes received by Milken Educators that remind us all of the deep, lasting impact educators have on their students' lives.
Four years ago, Vinny Chiaramonte (AL '17), then a teacher at R.F. Bumpus Middle School in Hoover, realized that Kyle Smith, one of his eighth grade computer science students, needed help. "This young man was struggling," says Vinny, now lead teacher for the Cyber Innovation Academy at Riverchase Career Connection Center. The teacher saw Kyle's potential and worked hard to build a relationship, "speaking life and encouragement" to him every day.
Now a senior in high school, Kyle recently sent Vinny a note to invite him to a momentous event:
"I would like to invite you to my Signing Day Event. I will be attending the University of Arkansas on a full Track and Field scholarship. I want to thank you for pushing me and helping to develop me into the young man that I am today. I appreciate you and would be honored if you could be a part of this major event. ... I want you to know that I was thinking about you as I make this big step in my life. Thank you for your support, love, and help."
Kyle "is a natural leader now," says Vinny. The teacher tweeted a picture of the note with an important message for the young man: "Proud of you."
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