With gratitude to a teacher and mentor

“Bonjour, mes amis!” Those were the words that greeted our Grade Seven classroom that early September day in 1968 when Monsieur Pugh strode into our first French class. Little did I know, the first time I encountered the sandy-haired recent arrival from England that he would have an impact on my life that continues to this day. I quickly discovered that I loved learning French. When I think about it now, I probably would have enjoyed anything this man taught. (Well, he would have had to work hard to get me to enjoy math…) I don’t quite know why I felt the connection with him that I did. Perhaps it was because I felt he truly valued my abilities and my contribution. That was so important for a kid who usually felt as though she was on the outside looking in. I didn’t really fit in with most of the others in my class, but I knew somehow that Monsieur Pugh accepted me for who I was, and encouraged me to be the best “who I was” that I could be.