Recently, Woods Road School Principal Jodi Howe received a surprise in her interoffice mail: a laminated piece of artwork, accompanied by a student's letter to her.
She recognized it immediately: it was written by a student she taught at Lawrence Elementary School, dated Dec. 7, 1997.
"Dear Miss Howe, I would like to work for you as a teacher because I like teaching kids to read and spell. I'm very creative. I like teaching art, too. I'm also very smart. I hope you hire me."
While Ms. Howe didn't have a chance to hire her former pupil, Lauren Cohen did pursue a teaching career—joining the staff at Hillsborough Middle School in January.
Howe shared her treasured student letter at Monday's Board of Education meeting, where the board took a few minutes to meet the district's new teachers.
"It's exactly why we do what we do," Howe said of her part in inspiring her former students, such as Cohen, to become teachers.
Howe had kept the letter and accompanying artwork all these years, but left in a desk she no longer used. While cleaning out the desk's drawers, someone thankfully recognized the importance of the letter to Howe and sent it to her.
"When I received this in my mail, I was so excited," she said.