News
 
Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

You’re never too old to party and tailgate, you just might do it a little differently than you did when you were in college. Instead of parading through the streets of Uptown shouting the famous “Texas Fight” chant, seniors in their 70s, 80s and 90s sported their Texas burnt orange and their OU crimson at a special intergenerational event with the Longhorn Choir. The University of Texas Longhorn Choir visited Presbyterian Village North (PVN) on Friday, October 7 to perform Texas themed songs. After the performance, members of the choir mixed and mingled with residents, swapping friendly banter and college stories. PVN provided pizza to the students as a thank you for coming out to do a show for the residents. 

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors is living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and more than five million people have been diagnosed as well. These numbers are expected to rise, and it is estimated that by 2050, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.

 

 

 

On September 24, Presbyterian Village North, a premier retirement community, hosted a Memory Walk and tailgate party to raise awareness for the growing number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They hope that by walking, they shined light on the prevalence of the disease and the need for people to donate funds to find a cure for this heartbreaking illness. Together, residents, team members, families and friends walked a half mile in support of their loved ones, then returned to the gazebo for a tailgate party.

 

 

 

 

In addition, on Saturday, October 1, Presbyterian Village North had a team representing the senior living community participate in the 2016 Greater Dallas Walk to End Alzheimer's. There were more than 3,000 people in attendance. 

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

Inspired by the international games in Rio, seniors at Dallas’ Presbyterian Village North (PVN), a nonprofit continuing care retirement community for active adults, participated in their very own 2016 Be Well Olympics. The Be Well Olympics entailed helpful advice, encouragement and support, as well as prizes and fun memories. Shannon Radford, wellness director of Presbyterian Village North, was excited to offer residents a timely program that helped them set healthy goals and reach them. A similar program was offered to PVN teammates as well.

 

“This fitness challenge was of Olympic proportions, and we were so excited to offer it in conjunction with the actual games in Rio,” said Radford. “Residents at PVN have always been festive and spirited. We definitely saw some light-hearted competitiveness come out, and it was fun to hear them discussing the Olympics in real-time with this program. Under the leadership of Deana Lisenby, our wellness coordinator, the department collaborated to create 30 challenges to complete before the games in Rio concluded. Prizes were awarded depending upon how many wellness tasks are accomplished.” 

 

Those who finished 10 wellness tasks achieved bronze status, those with 20 achieved silver status and those with 30 achieved gold status. Wellness tasks included activities such as going 24 hours without fast food or desserts, attending a fitness class, eating five to nine servings of fruit and veggies in a day, getting blood pressure checked or dropping in on an old friend. These behaviors help build and maintain habits that are physically, mentally and socially healthy. 

 

“We had a bonus challenge each week for those who wanted to go the extra mile, literally,” said Radford. “Week one consisted of three days of training and running or walking a mile. Week two entailed a high jump challenge, with three days of training. Week three focused on overcoming hurdles, with three days of training. Completing all three weeks of challenges made teammates eligible for a drawing for an iPad mini and several other prizes! We hope we inspired seniors across Dallas to stay active.”

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

With the opening of the Jim and Bess Blanchette Lifestyle Fitness Center later this summer, Presbyterian Village North (PVN) has set a goal to eventually offer 70 or more fitness classes a week, both land and aquatic, to suit the varying interests of residents. To reach this goal, Shannon Radford, wellness director of Presbyterian Village North, will add two to three new classes to the schedule each month leading up to the opening of the new fitness center. The renovation and expansion of the Lifestyle Fitness Center is part of a $93 million expansion project the senior living community is undergoing to better serve its residents. Five recently added classes include: Belly Blaster, Yo-Chi, Cardio Jam, Yoga Sculpt and Interval Blast. Dale Eichenberger, a 70-year-old resident of PVN, recently started attending both Yoga Sculpt and Interval Blast, as they are higher-intensity classes perfectly suited for his fitness level.

 

“I feel challenged by these classes, as my heart rate picks up, and I actually break a sweat while I do them,” said Eichenberger. “For 30-plus years I led Boy Scout troops on hiking, camping and fishing trips. I recently picked up these classes at Presbyterian Village North to keep me active since I retired from the Boy Scouts. To stay active means to stay awake, to keep moving, to be more coordinated physically and sharper mentally. I find I am more focused and have better stamina and energy.”

 

Eichenberger’s favorite class is Yoga Sculpt, as it is new and challenges his body in different ways, ranging from flexibility to strength to balance. He enjoys the 45-minute classes and is currently focused on mastering the various yoga positions so he gets more out of his workout. Doing the poses consistently for a certain length of time is most challenging to him, though he loves that it builds up his abilities and coordination. Once he masters the poses, he would like to focus on the meditative aspects of yoga. Interval Blast is a total body workout that incorporates strength training, bursts of cardio, and other circuits in a high-energy class. Eichenberger is consistently challenged in this class. He says that every time he finishes a class he walks away feeling accomplishment for having worked so hard.

“In addition to these two classes, we are also offering Belly Buster, Cardio Jam and Yo-Chi, which are all quite popular,” said Radford. “Belly Blaster is a fun class that helps residents target their core and focuses on abdominal muscles. Cardio Jam combines upbeat pop music with classic cardio moves for an energetic dance party. Yo-Chi is the newest fitness class, combining Tai Chi and Yoga. We like to offer classes that incorporate the latest fitness trends, as that keeps things fresh and exciting. We serve a variety of residents with a broad range of interests, abilities and schedules – so offering many different classes allows us to engage and motivate all of our residents. Someone who prefers Yoga Sculpt may not love find as much satisfaction in Line Dancing or Zumba.”

 

Radford is delighted to offer residents more high-intensity classes to challenge those who desire a higher-level fitness routine. These classes will eventually be open to both residents and employees. As more areas of the expansion project reach completion and more residents move in, Radford and her team will continue to add new classes to cater to new interests. Their goal is for the new Lifestyle Fitness Center to be busy, full of life and full of laughter.

 

“I advise people to try as many classes as they are able until they find the one that works best for them,” said Radford. “If you find the right music, instructor and friends, that can make it so much easier to stay motivated. Having friends in class also helps keep you accountable. I have yet to hear a resident regret coming to class, as most leave feeling energized and happier!”

 

Interval Blast is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Yoga Sculpt is offered on Fridays from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Yo-Chi is offered on Fridays from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. Belly Blaster is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Cardio Jam is offered on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. Other classes offered include: Better Balance, Cardio Fit, Osteofit, 10/10/10, Tai Chi, Gentle Yoga, Brain Busters, Golf Stretch and Strengthen, Line Dancing and Lighten Up PVN. While these classes are not open to the general public, the media is invited to attend and cover any of the classes.

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

Presbyterian Village North, a faith-based nonprofit continuing care retirement community for active adults in Dallas, began a $93 million expansion project in 2015 and is happy to report that progress is moving along and the project may be completed earlier than expected. Many of the new buildings are taking shape and the residents eagerly await the project’s completion. Presbyterian Village North is adding a lifestyle fitness center, which will offer a new pool, Jacuzzi, spa and healthy café, a transitional care unit, a park area with pavilion and water feature and a chapel, as well as two independent living residences–Leonard Rose Villas and Martins Landing. PVN is also expanding Joyce Hall, which currently serves residents in assisted living, by adding The Terrace at Joyce Hall so that it can expand assisted living and accommodate more memory care residents on campus.

 

“Residents are pleasantly surprised by the significant progress achieved thus far,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “Given the size and detail of this expansion, we have found it important to communicate information pertaining to construction updates to keep everyone informed about the status of each area, as it impacts all of the residents. It is with pleasure, that we plan to open some of these areas earlier than anticipated. We have met with many seniors who are eager to live at a community that offers new and upgraded services, with a proven track record of success and a positive reputation. We are looking forward to serving them, and are pleased to offer them a beautified campus.”

 

The community’s new independent living residences, Martins Landing, is completed and residents will start moving in this month. Leonard Rose Villas has an estimated completion date of mid to late summer, and the transitional care unit is expected to open by the end of 2016. In regards to new and expanded resident amenities, the Jim and Bess Blanchette Lifestyle Fitness Center is expected to be opened in September. The Rev. Dr. Blair and Cyndy Monie Chapel is due to be completed in early August. Kris Rose, a new resident of Presbyterian Village North, is delighted with the progress and says the expansion project is one of many things that helped sway her decision to move to PVN.

“I recently moved to PVN and have enjoyed seeing all the projects take shape. It is important to me that I live in a community where there are opportunities for enriching my mind, body and spirit,” said 76-year-old Rose, a former RN. “The healthcare delivery and quality of living available at PVN are outstanding and will improve as new amenities become available through the expansion project. I had two friends who lived here when I first visited 15 years ago. I was impressed with the campus then and am more pleased with it today. Even in retirement we seek companionship, which is why we come to live in a retirement community. We are here to make new friends, explore new social events and interests and engage in community. A new set of experiences awaits us.”

 

Rose believes that everyone is looking for different things in their retirement, so it is crucial for PVN to supply the means for satisfying those needs. She plans to use many of the new amenities on the campus, such as the lifestyle fitness center, the new dog park and the walking trails. Her two small dogs will benefit from these additions as well. Rose is excited about the renovations and campus beautification, as she believes that all of these things will help bring the residents together more often and will allow them to get to know each other better. She has found that she is making new friends just by attending fitness classes regularly. She loves getting to know people she has shared interests with in the community.

 

“We are catering to several different age groups and generations at this point,” said Kelly. “We are at a significant turning point in our industry, and it is imperative that we meet the needs of both our current and future residents. Life at PVN is rich because we are so centered in community. We are all eager for the expansion project to reach completion, as we have so many new memories to make.”

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

Seniors have excitedly awaited the completion of Martins Landing, Presbyterian Village North’s (PVN) newest independent living housing addition. Including an underground parking garage and connected to the newly renovated and expanded lifestyle fitness center, Martins Landing will offer 56 new, spacious apartment homes. This addition is part of a $93 million expansion project the senior living community is undergoing to meet the needs of current and future residents. To celebrate the completion of the new independent living apartments, PVN hosted a Finish Line event for residents to enjoy.

 

“We are both excited and anxious about this move from our home in Fredericksburg to Presbyterian Village North,” said Larry Miller. “Dallas is a hub of activity, and we know we’ll have access to many new experiences. We decided to be proactive and make a move such as this one, while we ourselves are still very active. With this transition we will have more freedom to travel, will be closer to a larger airport, which will make travelling easier for us and our kids, and we’ll be conveniently located in the midst of everything – downtown, Preston Center, North Park Mall, the Galleria, Dallas Love Field airport, restaurants and more. While we count down the days until we move into Martins Landing, our friends have planned five going away parties for us to celebrate this new chapter of our lives.”

 

Larry and his wife, Nancy, had deliberated moving into a senior living community in 2014. They dropped by PVN on a whim to simply check it out, and they walked away having made a commitment for their future. Larry had served as an ombudsman in Florida for many years and would visit senior communities and skilled nursing homes during his service. During that time, he observed which places genuinely cared for their residents and which ones neglected seniors in their care. Using his personal experiences, Larry requested to visit PVN’s healthcare services area and was impressed by the compassionate, quality care that he witnessed. At that point, he knew they had found a great place in which to retire.

 

“We’ve met several longtime residents, and they described PVN as a beautiful, lively and wonderful place in which to live,” said Nancy. “When we came for our very first meeting, we were sitting next to a board member and his wife. He has been a board member of one of the parent organization’s boards for 12 years. It spoke volumes to us that he had been on the board for so long and that he was choosing to call PVN his new home. I never gave senior housing a thought until recently, and I’m happy we found PVN. We sold our house before it hit the market, had an auction to help us downsize and gave many things to our children as well. There are many wonderful experiences awaiting us at Presbyterian Village North.”

 

The board member the Millers sat next to is not the only board member to move into PVN. Warren Rutherford, whom has also served on one of the parent organization’s boards for more than ten years, will also be moving into Martins Landing this summer.

 

“I moved into a patio home at PVN around Thanksgiving of 2014 because I wanted to plan for the future, a place I could retire with ease,” said Rutherford. “It was nice having a patio home, but I am eager to move into Martins Landing. I’m most excited about the underground parking garage. It will be helpful in keeping my car clean and cool during the summer months. I won’t have to worry about ice or snow in the winter as well. The quality of the expansion and renovations are first class. I’m overall really impressed with everything they are doing. I’ve always loved the way their communities are run. Our organization has always been run with the right purpose in mind. It’s truly a ministry of people serving people.”

 

“We have eagerly anticipated the opening of Martins Landing since we first broke ground on the expansion project,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “We planned the Finish Line event to commemorate this special occasion.  During this event PVN teammates wore festive PVN Pit Crew t-shirts, we served Mango Martins Land-tini’s, as well as Finish Line Punch. It was a fun, celebratory time for all. We are excited as we begin this new chapter at the community.”

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

Debra Newman has been serving seniors at Presbyterian Village North (PVN) for 32 years, 27 of which have been spent as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). In recognition of National Nursing Assistants Week, Newman is delighted to share some of her experiences from her years in the field, as well as her own personal advice and perspective on what you need to succeed as a nursing assistant.

 

“I am grateful that I get to be here for seniors when they need me, no matter what that need may be,” said Newman. “It is rewarding knowing I am able to help somebody, and that they trust me to assist them and care for them. Beyond the kind of care you provide, your kind words, attitude and overall demeanor make a huge impact on them as well. They remember how you treat them, and when you regularly do nice things to help them it makes them happy, of course. Some of the residents in my care have transitioned to other areas within the community, but I still make a point to check on them. It’s easy to build meaningful relationships with residents when your heart is in the right place and you were called to serve. One resident lost his wife, and while he was in my care I checked on him regularly to make sure he was doing well and coping with his loss. Even though he was eventually transitioned to another part of the community, I still make a point to stop by and say hello to him, and he remembers me.”

 

Newman says that not everyone can do this job, and that a calling to serve has to be embedded in you. She believes that those who work regularly with seniors as a CNA need to be passionate about the care they are delivering and have a desire to serve and help. She noted that having appropriate training and confidence in what you are doing are two important factors for helping CNAs do their job.

 

“All residents are not the same, some will be happy and you can joke with them, while others might not feel well or are having a bad day,” said Newman.  “You must try and maintain a cheerful demeanor no matter what the situation. If you need to step away after a particularly challenging moment, take a few minutes to regroup and collect yourself. If you don’t know the answer to something or how to do something, definitely ask for help. There’s no shame in learning something new. Most importantly, give it your best.”

 

The residents remind Newman of her own parents and grandparents, who are not with her today. When she helps the residents, she does what she would expect anyone to do for her own family. She credits her years of experience working as a CNA with helping her to nurse her father while he was dying of prostate cancer, doing tasks such as bathing him and administering his medications, and her mother when she was living with diabetes and heart problems. With all her years of experience, she can now act quickly and with confidence. There have been moments during emergencies in which Newman has done everything in her power to make sure residents were well cared for. For her, it’s about doing what she can for residents in their moments of need.

 

“We are sincerely grateful for the compassion, devotion and thoughtfulness that Debra exudes daily in working with residents of PVN,” said Heather Ashby, director of residential and assisted living of Presbyterian Village North. “I am honored to work side-by-side with her daily and I appreciate all that she does for our residents. Her commitment to making sure residents are well and happy is inspiring. She has a desire to help in any capacity, and is well respected among her peers. She motivates her fellow team members to share the same kind of love and jovial attitude with residents in their care. We are privileged to have Debra on our team, and we commend her 32 years of service in recognition of National Nursing Assistants Week. It is an outstanding achievement, and we look forward to continued resident satisfaction as she leads by example. I would like to also thank all the CNAs and CMAs at PVN for enriching the lives of our residents and their families. They are a blessing to our organization.”

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

Presbyterian Communities and Services has named Tim Mallad as president of the not-for-profit organization, which is comprised of premier continuing care retirement communities Presbyterian Village North and Grace Presbyterian Village, as well as Faith Presbyterian Hospice and the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center. A resident of Dallas, Mallad brings nearly 30 years of senior living experience to the organization. Phil Wentworth, chairman of the board of directors of Presbyterian Communities and Services, made the announcement.

 

“I am thrilled to have Tim join our team. He brings a broad perspective that includes decades of experience working for a for-profit company while helping not-for-profit communities achieve their goals and fulfill their visions. Tim has the ideal background necessary to be successful in this position,” said Wentworth. “Tim has a genuine passion for helping seniors, he is mission-driven and his enthusiasm is contagious. I am confident that he will support our organization’s values while focusing on the residents’ needs and leading the team members by example.”

 

Mallad joins Presbyterian Communities and Services from Irving-based Greystone Communities,   where he most recently served as first vice president. Throughout his career, Mallad has specialized in assisting faith-based, not-for-profit communities in all phases of development and operations. He directed leadership responsibilities for multiple continuing care retirement communities across the country. He has led not-for-profit organizations through cultural and organizational change, while creating, implementing and overseeing budgets, marketing efforts and sales strategies. In addition, Mallad has served as COO and executive director at the community level, as well as associate administrator and other sales and marketing positions.

 

“The values, mission and vision of Presbyterian Communities and Services align perfectly with my core beliefs. The high level of commitment to serve seniors in a unique way and the dedication of the team members and board resonate with me. I feel deeply connected to seniors, and I am grateful for the countless ways they have enriched my life over the years. I look forward to learning from the residents, families and team members I will work with in this new role,” said Mallad. “This is a pivotal time for the organization, with a major expansion underway at Presbyterian Village North, as well as a unique standalone hospice care center under construction. I am honored to join the organization, and it is my privilege to work with a team that positively impacts the lives of more than 1,200 individuals and their families each and every day in greater Dallas.”

 

Mallad was named president after an extensive national search that took nearly a year to complete. Members of the board and search committee believe the thorough effort will greatly benefit the families the organization serves.

 

“I am confident that Tim’s extensive experience and core values make him the right individual to lead the organization forward,” said Mike Wright, chairman of the selection committee. “Tim is a proven leader who has a track record of delivering results.”

 

“The members of the board of directors and I are very confident that Tim is an excellent addition to the leadership team,” said Ron Gafford, vice chairman of the board of directors of Presbyterian Communities and Services. “The board is pleased with the rigorous process the search committee underwent and is extraordinarily pleased with the results.”

 

Mallad plans to spend the first 90 days immersing himself in the day-to-day operations by visiting with residents and staff at the communities and Faith Presbyterian Hospice.

 

“I plan to observe, listen and achieve a deep understanding of the culture and history of this organization and its entities,” said Mallad. “My career has given me the foundation necessary to provide guidance and leadership. I believe we are a team, and together, we can look at unique ways to incorporate hospitality, customer service and care to provide meaningful and enriching experiences to the seniors and families we serve.”

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

When Dr. Tom Standlee partially retired from practicing dermatology 12 years ago, he looked in the mirror and made a commitment to himself to use his free time to get fit and pursue a more active lifestyle. He had an old road bike, so he decided to pick up biking in a quest to achieve his new goal for his retirement. He lost 25 pounds in the first year and steadily became more agile, toned and healthier. Four years later, his wife, Sue Standlee, would join him on his biking adventures. Since then, the couple has developed a passion for bike riding, upgraded their bikes, purchased helmets with intercoms to communicate during rides and moved from Reno, Nevada to Dallas for a new round of adventures. Why Dallas? The two were eager to live near their daughter and her family, they appreciated the active lifestyle in Dallas with recreational areas like White Rock Lake and Katy Trail, and they found the faith-based retirement community they desired to live in, Presbyterian Village North (PVN).

 

“Biking is one of our newly-developed shared passions, and we will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather this May as we celebrate National Bike Month,” said Tom. “One of the main draws for our relocation to Presbyterian Village North is the community’s location, a mere six blocks from the White Rock Lake bike trail. This was fantastic news to us, as we bike about 15 to 20 miles on average every week day, and sometimes go for leisurely rides on the weekends. A quaint coffee shop is within close proximity to the trail and the senior living community, and we look forward to starting or ending our rides there. The staff members at PVN are so generous, as they have offered to put in a bike rack on the ground floor so we don’t need to carry our bikes up to the second floor every day.”

 

Currently, the Standlees are staying with their daughter and her family in Arlington until their new home at Presbyterian Village North is complete. They sold their house in Reno and made the move into their daughter’s home last month. The senior living community is undergoing a major expansion project, parts of which are due to be completed at the end of this summer. The Standlees expect to move into their brand new, spacious apartment home in late July to early August. In addition to being close to the White Rock Lake trail, the Standlees were looking for a community that is welcoming of all faiths. Other important factors that helped them decide on PVN include a campus with a track record of success and quality service, one that offers extended care and a full continuum of care, as well as one that is close to their daughter.

 

“It is hotter than blazes here during the summer months, so it will be nice to have access to the lifestyle fitness center to exercise indoors when it proves to be too hot to do anything outdoors,” said Tom. “We’ll definitely utilize the indoor exercise equipment during those times, and plan to take advantage of the new pavilion with its view of the water fountain feature and the walking trails when the weather is nice. In addition to biking, my wife and I enjoy dancing the Argentine tango, which is a tad different from the tango you are used to seeing on Dancing with the Stars. Regardless of what we do, it is important for me to stay active. Beyond feeling more energized, it also helps me keep my diabetes under control. If I were to sit around watching television all the time, I would feel so sedentary, and I thrive on feeling revitalized.”

 

Sue shares many of the same interests, and she believes their time spent biking together is perfect for bonding. It’s a time for them to reflect and meditate, as well as a time to talk about their ride and what they are experiencing. Even if they are apart from each other on the trail the intercom system allows them to talk to each other.

 

“It’s nice having that time together, being able to chat while we exercise in a change of scenery,” said Sue. “We are looking forward to all the new experiences that await us. New bike trails to be explored, a new culture of people to become acquainted with, then of course there’s the close proximity of the theater, the symphony, the opera and a plethora of other cultured activities to keep us occupied and entertained. This is a new chapter for us, to be sure, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin it. Dallas is the perfect choice for our retirement.”

 

The Standlees decided to transition from their 5,000-square-foot home to a senior living community because they wanted to downsize for ease of upkeep. In addition, they were excited to have someone prepare meals for them daily if they did not feel like cooking, and they felt this would be a great way to meet new people and prevent loneliness. They first became acquainted with senior living communities when they provided care to a couple of friends in California. After many visits and seeing the benefits of living there, they decided it would be a good decision for them too.

 

“Texans are really friendly, and residents at PVN are helping us adjust and get to know the area,” said Sue. “Just last week we learned about the DART system, what it is and how to use it. One noticeable difference between seniors living at PVN versus seniors living at other communities is that everyone at PVN talks about positive experiences they have recently encountered. They have fascinating stories to share about activities or groups they have been engaged in. It has been enlightening to sit at a table with them during lunch and meet new and interesting people. We came to Texas to meet people like this, and that’s what we are going to find here.”

Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest

To conclude the school year, elementary school teachers from Stults Road Elementary School and retired teachers living at Presbyterian Village North came together for a special end-of-school-year mixer to reminisce and share stories. The senior living community hosted the special event and presented the teachers with school supplies they collected all month. Linda Flores, a fourth-grade teacher with eight years of experience, and Ester Moffitt, a retired teacher with more than 30 years of experience in East Dallas, have some heartwarming and hilarious stories to share in light of the end of the school year.

 

“When you have taught for more than 30 years, there are many things that go on and you have many stories to share,” said Moffitt. “I spent most of my years teaching first-graders, but dabbled in teaching curriculum and development, special reading, as well as staff development. While visiting with the teachers from Stults Road, we had some interesting stories to discuss. For starters, a little girl in my class came to school one day and said her mother got married again last night. I prompted her, asking her what she meant by again, and she relayed it was her mother’s sixth marriage and that she now had six dads. Well it wasn’t too long before we hosted an open house at the school and a gentleman came in and sat down by her desk. Then before I knew it, five more gentlemen had joined him! All six of her dads showed up, visited with each other, had a great time, left together and went out to eat together. This speaks volumes for the love each of them had for that little girl.”

 

At open houses, Moffitt used to tell parents, “I’ll only believe half of what they tell me about you if you only believe half of what they tell you about me.” It kept things lighthearted. Another time, Moffitt looked over to see a boy with his head stuck in the desk. It was an old fashioned desk, welded together, with a tray underneath the desktop to hold tablets, colors and writing utensils. The desk had an opening on each side and this boy had dropped his crayons through the back end. He slid his head through the opening trying to retrieve his crayons and got stuck. Moffitt sent one student to the cafeteria to tell the head cafeteria lady that he needed a tub of lard and that he’d explain later. She then sent another to the principal’s office and with instructions for him to come to her classroom immediately. They eventually called the paramedics, who showed up with their jaws of life, but her trick with putting the lard over his ears helped free his head from the desk. She recalls everyone was really scared there for a while.

 

“Anybody who has 30 or more years of teaching under their belt is going to have plenty of stories,” said Moffitt. “Sometimes there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to teach kids, but if you have a real passion for it you overlook the trying times. You have to love it, because you’re wasting a child’s education if your heart is not in it. It takes a special kind of love and patience. I always advise teachers to look for the good qualities that reside in children and encourage it once you figure out what that is. Once, I had a child who was about to be referred for special education because he could not read a first-grade book and he was in the sixth grade. I discovered, however, that if I put a math problem up on the board, he could solve it before I was done putting it up. So I ordered a high school algebra book and taught him to read and excel in other areas of his education. He just blossomed after that and ended up getting a four-year scholarship to The University of Texas at Austin. Seeing kids mature, grow and shine is the most rewarding part of the job.”

 

When Moffitt was not teaching and helping children excel, she spent her summers doing anything where people would have no idea she was a teacher. She worked at an army supply diesel, as a cosmetics specialist, at Montgomery Ward and other places. Flores said that she enjoys spending her summers with her family and friends, preparing for the next school year and taking some time to do things she isn’t able to do during the school year. She became a teacher because she wanted to invest in the lives of others, and felt like working with kids was the best route.

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed attending the teacher mixer at Presbyterian Village North,” said Flores. “We swapped many stories, and it was so nice to be able to spend the afternoon with some great former teachers. I loved getting to chat with them, and I felt very encouraged by all of their positive comments. It was interesting to hear how things have changed over time, and how some of their stories were very similar to what we as teachers see today. One lady shared a story about how her students made her a cake. She wasn’t sure if she should eat it, but knew they had worked hard on it, so braved it and ate the cake anyways. Then, she treated them to ice cream as a thank you. It was evident that these former teachers loved their kids as much as I do.”

 

Flores shared that she is grateful for the volunteers from PVN who come over to the school to read to the students, and that the school appreciates that the residents collect books and school supplies for them. She thinks it is wonderful that these seniors are willing to take the time to nurture the students and invest in their lives. She also said that it is a great way for the school to get involved with the community and show the students how important it is to create valuable relationships with people who do so much for them.

 

“I feel like a part of my job is to not only teach my students, but to be a loving and caring figure in their lives,” said Flores. “The thing I love the most about teaching is when the students come back to share memories of our time together. The best advice I like to give to all my students is to always believe in themselves. I want my students to believe that with hard work, dedication and persistence they can overcome anything.”

 

“It was a pleasure hosting the teacher mixer at Presbyterian Village North so everyone could wrap up the school year with some laughs, helpful advice and heartwarming memories,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “We value the relationships we have with our neighbors and strive to create opportunities for these relationships to grow. Our residents benefit from it as much as the teachers and students at Stults do.”