On January 28th, 1986 I was at home with a sick child. Kat was 5 and had the flu. While she slept peacefully on the couch, I watched late breaking news and cried silently where I sat. Why was I crying? I was crying because right before my eyes I watched the Challenger explode just after liftoff , killing everyone of the seven astronauts aboard. This was the 10th trip for Challenger and included a teacher from New Hampshire...her name was Christa MacAuliffe. I had never met her, but had followed her career...because I too was a teacher. Christa MacAuliffe was among the astronauts as part of a new Teacher in Space project. The Launch was shown live on CNN and many schools set up televisions for children to watch due to the involvement of a teacher in the shuttle. I sat at home, holding my sleeping daughter and crying silently. Christa MacAuliffe was the only name I knew on this particular flight....later I would find out that the other crew members were Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ronald McNair, as well as Ellison Onizuka,Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik. A warning was ignored that certain equipment on the ship was vulnerable at new temperatures...a warning was ignored...and right before our eyes...the Challenger ceased to be. I grew up watching take offs from Cape Canaveral/Kennedy. I loved them. I loved watching the rockets drop the boosters, I loved the thought of going to space...the unknown...I wanted to BE a Christa MacAuliffe....but right then...I was glad I was safely tucked in the confines of my own house...and could wake up tomorrow and hold my daughter....again. The lives of the astronauts were over...and now...twenty four years later....do you remember the names of the astronauts that died...reaching for the stars? Christa MacAuliffe is still a recognized name in the world of educators...because just like in life...she is still encouraging us to reach for the stars.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.