Our Mountain Top Heroes

We are living in a very negative world today. There seems to be something always wrong with our world, our country, and our communities. So much so, we forget and take for granted the good things people in our community are doing to make our world a better place to live. This week, I had the honor to speak at the memorial services for two of local school teachers. Melena Brackins, a first grade teacher at Northview Primary School, and Vickie Reed who taught 37 years at Caton’s Chapel Elementary School. Their impact of the lives of children, co-workers have been remarkable. Both were members of our church, and volunteered in our children’s ministries during the summertime. I have been blessed to be a friend to each of them and their families for years. Our community is known for our mountains, and our community is also known for coming together during difficult times, such as the recent fire in the Gatlinburg area. Woven into the strong fabric of our area is an amazing school system. Administrators, Teachers, and other Staff go the extra mile to help our children to become the best they can be. I’m thankful as a parent, that my daughter had that opportunity here. 

I think we need to tell them how much we appreciate them… send a note, text, or email. When you see them around in our community, say a word of encouragement. If your child is presently a student, participate and support events at the school. 

My friend, Bill Hatcher spoke at Vickie’s memorial service today. Bill is the principal where Vickie taught. He read this poem in tribute to her:

“You’re the person I most admire,

The person that I most would like to be.

Your friendship, like a torch, has lit a fire,

Deep within the cave where I am me.

Because of you, I want to be a teacher,

Touching someone’s life as you’ve touched mine.

And when I’m you, I will know just how to reach her, 

Giving her faith that she can shine.

Though you must now leave, and we must part,

A little piece of you remains behind,

Held with gratitude within my heart,

A portrait of a lady good and kind.

You will be a part of everything I do,

and when I need strength,

I will look inside of me…for you.”

People like Melena and Vickie have made our community better. May we do the same and say thank you to those around us who make this a great place to live. 


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