(Rockwall, TX—August 4, 2016) The J.E.R. Chilton YMCA invited all Rockwall area teachers to a special appreciation breakfast offering prayer for the coming school year.
The teachers munched on eggs, sausage, gravy, muffins and cinnamon rolls provided by Preston Hollow Catering while YMCA Executive Director Bonnie LaVielle sang with her two sisters Betty Methvin and Brenda Rabe.
Brett Packer, J.E.R. Chilton YMCA Board Chair, welcomed guests and Steve Swofford, Pastor First Baptist Church, gave the invocation. Judy James, former RISD teacher, offered an Educator Prayer. The YMCA was pleased to meet and introduce RISD’s new Superintendent, Dr. John (J.J.) E. Villarreal.
A few lucky teachers received raffle prizes, including a gift certificate for Oak Farms milk and ice cream, YMCA Family Memberships, and a $250 gift certificate to Mardel Christian and Education store.
Keynote speaker and longtime RISD public servant Debbie Smotherman then addressed the crowd. Smotherman, who served as a teacher, elementary school principal, and administrator for RISD, stressed the importance of relying on God throughout the trials and challenges of any educational career.
“God places children in your path for a reason,” Smotherman said. “Once you know that, it becomes an even greater responsibility. Little things you do can make a difference that you don’t always see.”
Smotherman said when searching for patience in working with both children and parents, she relied on one her favorite Bible verses, James 1:19. The verse instructs to be quick to listen, slow to speak and anger. Smotherman said she can see the impact God has had on her entire career.
“It really has been all about God’s timing, and I rarely realized it at the time. His timing will be perfect for you too. “
To finish off the breakfast, the teachers wrote down prayer requests and prayed together at each table.
Rev. Mark Irons, First Christian Church and YMCA board member, gave the closing benediction.
Story and Photos by Blue Ribbon News Reporter Julie Anne White.
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