For You, My Friend

It is with both excitement and a heavy heart in which I pack for Austin, Texas to attend the Google Teacher Academy next week. And while my #GTAATX cohort is filled with talented educators, uniquely adding their own passions to the mosaic; I can’t help but think of the one influence in my life that will never get the chance to celebrate this experience with me, Jack Moore.


Fifteen years ago, I started my teaching career in a small school in central Iowa, BCLUW.  As I struggled through the first couple years, as most new teachers do, I found my love for the students, families, and staff members grow. I knew I was where I belonged.

I never considered myself a tech savvy teacher, but a shared vision ignited by the district’s technology director (Jack Moore), would forever change my career path. And for this, I am grateful. As I started year six in my career, BCLUW became the fifth school in Iowa to provide laptops to students. A 1:1 environment, enhancing the educational ecosystem, providing rich opportunities for collaboration and creativity; and as an educator, reflecting, refining and evolving to maximize ubiquitous technology.

The leadership in the district, the culture to support risk-taking, and the educators I have met along the way have all defined my journey. And while each person has played a special role in defining the educator I am today; Jack Moore is in need of special gratitude. Unfortunately, his untimely death this summer doesn’t afford me opportunity to thank him in person (but I know his soul is smiling down). So it is with all of you that I share this letter to Jack!

Well friend, can you believe it? This week I will be in the Google Offices in Austin, learning, growing, and sharing all things Google and Education! I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for helping me achieve this goal of becoming a Certified Google Teacher. 
Sharing a new tool, ordering equipment to support my student projects, unblocking hate sites to recognize fallacies in hate rhetoric, to filming the song exchange with our friends in Sweden; I thank you. 
Never one to criticize, demand, or find fault in my ideas that failed; I thank you.
Celebrating the small victories as well as the large ones; I thank you.
Encouraging me to follow my dreams, to never quit learning, and to embrace the potential I possessed inside to influence young people; I thank you.
And finally, when time came for my career to take a different path, it was your words “Shaelynn, sometimes we need to leave good to do something great,” that provided the reassurance that I was making the correct choice. For that, I thank you!
Thank you, dear friend, I will never forget the impact you have had on my life, as well as the lives of all who knew you! 

One thought on “For You, My Friend

  • Shaelynn, while I’m sure this was emotionally challenging to write, it’s beautiful, and you did your mentorship from Jack Moore justice. You’ve learned so many valuable lessons, and your achievements have become a testament to his influence on you. He’d be proud to see you now. I bet Jack would say you’re a bit more tech saavy than you’re letting on…Congratulations on #GTAATX.


Leave a Reply