“It’s Time For Another Selfie!” – A Valentine Surprise for a Ron Clark Superfan
If you ask Student Support Coach Kirsten Proctor what the background photo on her iPhone was for the past year, she will proudly say it was a selfie of her with renowned American Educator Ron Clark. A longtime fan, Proctor was able to snap that selfie with Ron Clark when he was the keynote speaker for the Tempe Elementary 2016-2017 Back to School Rally.
“I actually ran after his Uber and he was nice enough to stop and take a quick photo with me,” said Proctor with a laugh. “I just had to get a selfie with him!”
For years, Proctor has endorsed Clark’s unique approach to classroom teaching and leadership to her colleagues and friends. She has read all of Clark’s books and rewatched many of his inspirational videos, many of which take place within the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) which was founded by Clark.
“I just think his energy is phenomenal,” said Proctor. “He inspires you to be a better educator and encourages the fact that learning can be fun. I’ve used a lot of his methods in the classroom and it really does help.”
Thousands of educators each year from around the world travel to RCA in Atlanta, Georgia to participate in their Educator Training Program. This training is intended for educators who would like to learn more about how to replicate RCA's style, philosophy, and success in their own schools.
“It’s always been a ‘bucket list’ item of mine to visit RCA and participate in the training program,” said Proctor. “Anyone who knows me has probably heard me say this!”
Mike Pederson, Proctor’s fiance, knows above anyone else knows how passionate she feels about her dream to participate in the training program at RCA.
On Valentine’s Day, before she made her way in for work that morning, Pederson set up the surprise of a lifetime for Proctor at her office! He had created a packet containing plane tickets to Atlanta, Georgia along with registration for Proctor to attend a two-day training program at RCA at the end of May. The packet also contained the original selfie Proctor had taken with Ron Clark with a handwritten note, “Pack your bags! It’s time for another selfie!”
“I was completely shocked and excited!” said Proctor. “Mike is always thinking of ways to keep me surprised, and he never fails! He is a very generous person that is always thinking of ways to help and support others.”
When asked what she was most looking forward to, Proctor was able to list many items. At the top of her list, Proctor is most excited to meet the kids and observe RCA’s classrooms at work.
“I’m excited to come back with new ways to incorporate teaching and coaching tactics from RCA in our schools,” said Proctor. “I also can’t wait to go down the famous two-story slide in the school building!”
Thank you, Kirsten, for sharing your story with us! We can’t wait to hear an update of your experience!