Berney Elementary School is doing excellent work educating children in Walla Walla. I had the good fortune of volunteering this spring in a Berney kindergarten classroom with a teacher who lives and breathes excellence and devotion in teaching. Her name is Lori Thomas.

If we were lucky, many of us had one or two teachers who made lasting impacts in our lives, even changed the course of our lives.

I would venture to say, for many of her students, Ms. Thomas is one of those teachers. Kindergarten is where many children get their first impression of school, and the educational experience Ms. Thomas creates for her “little mighties” is nothing short of amazing.  

She delivers education with love, joy, creativity and discipline, an ever present smile, and seemingly unlimited patience. I was in her classroom all morning for the last two months of the year, and I never heard her raise her voice a single time. That is no small accomplishment given the fact that is was spring and the kids wanted so badly to go outside for recess! Ms. Thomas manages it all with a calm poise that mark her as a consummate professional in her field.

She is a teacher. She loves her students, and they love her, and it shows in their faces every day.

Clinton Streifling

Walla Walla

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