A unique double random act of kindness took place recently at Delaware Valley Middle School between principal and student. Award certificates are usually given out to students for many different academic achievements. But the most recognized are usually for honors, sports, attendance, which may be important for their future success. And then there are other certificates that just come from the heart, which to me are most important since I'm a Christian.
While in class, my beloved son James Michael Hagenburg was called over the loudspeaker to come to the office and was presented with a Certificate of Excellence from his principal, Dr. Peter Ioppolo. But the reason why James received it was what astounded me. His certificate stated: "For being the reason why I come to work!"
It's so touching to see those heartwarming words that are uniquely special in today's world. I feel that no other certificate could ever measure up to the one that's mostly sentimental, the one that was given to James by his principal. The radiant of joy and appreciation on his face when he handed it to me was priceless, one I would never forget.
Also to my surprise, upon after receiving his certificate, a photo was taken of James and Dr. Ioppolo, which only made it more special. I knew I wanted a copy of it since it's sentimental as well as memorable. So the next day I excitedly went to the school office to ask, which they said would be emailed to me. They also said, "Look it's right there," pointing to the principal's office door. I walked over and I was stunned -- it was another unexpected surprise to top it all. I saw the photo on Dr. Ioppolo's door along with a few others with the sign above that says "THE REASON WHY I COME TO WORK!!!" I was overcome with emotion.
So as a unique Christian, a God-given thought came to my mind, which I discussed with James: to give Dr. Ioppolo his own special handmade framed certificate. Being a Christian like his mom, and having such an amazing thoughtful generous heart, he thought it was a great idea himself. Little did we know his principal never received one, which is sad because he truly deserves it. But at least giving him ours made it even more special. James and I discussed different titles together that would be appropriate for his principal's certificate, and he wanted to keep "Outstanding Principal Award," which I already thought was perfect. But, curious, I asked James, "Why that title?" James said, "Because he is outstanding." That's the truth.
The next morning James excitedly walked into the principal's office ready to give him his certificate. While sitting at his desk, Dr. Ioppolo said to James, "Oh you framed your certificate." James smiled and said "no" and handed it over to him. Dr. Ioppolo sat there stunned and said, "Oh no, you got to be kidding me." He was emotional and said, "You put a tear in my eye."
He sincerely expressed his feelings of gratitude and appreciation to James and was thoughtful enough to call me later on to do the same, which made our whole day. About two days later, James was called into the principal's office once again, with another surprise awaiting him. Little did he know, he was about to meet Dr. Ioppolo's family.
Dr. Ioppolo is truly an outstanding principal, but not only because he gave my son a certificate from his heart, but because he's also a principal who encourages and inspires all students. For example, James has been working extra hard and trying his best since the seventh grade started this year, trying to get all 90 percent above on his tests. One day James came to Dr. Ioppolo and said in a discouraged, disappointed way, "Ugh I got a 75 percent on my quiz." Dr. Ioppolo said, "Did you try your best?"James said, "Yea." Dr. Ioppolo said. "That's all that matters." Now, that's the kind of principal that we need in all our schools.
He's also a Godly, trustworthy, down-to-earth, good-humored, understanding person, and one who truly cares about all his students and their well-being.
Usually principals don't receive the recognition they should, but I feel it's important that Dr. Peter Ioppolo should definitely be acknowledged for all that he does. James and I are blessed to know him and all students should feel grateful to have him as their principal, I know James is.
You see how amazing one random act of kindness from both sides can turn into something extraordinary? Dr. Peter Ioppolo and James are proof of that.
It could change someone's life or just put a smile on someone's face. But no matter how big or how small the random act of kindness is, most importantly it's out of love for a person, but especially out of love for our Lord God. Remember when you truly have our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ in your life, amazing blessings will happen for you, and amazing blessings already happened for others whom were touched by your heart, something that my son James and I truly know all about. We truly love and are so grateful to our Lord God in Heaven for all that he does for us everyday.
James 1:17: "Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
1 Peter 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
One day James came to Dr. Ioppolo and said in a discouraged, disappointed way, "Ugh I got a 75 percent on my quiz." Dr. Ioppolo said, "Did you try your best?"James said, "Yea." Dr. Ioppolo said. "That's all that matters." Now, that's the kind of principal that we need in all our schools.