It’s a major award.

May 5, 2012



There is no good way to tell this story without either 1) sounding like I’m tooting my own horn, or 2) telling the truth and making it seem like I am fishing for compliments.

I got an award.

Back in December I got a telephone call from Concordia University’s president on the day before my birthday. He said, “Congratulations on this momentous occasion!” and I said, “Thanks! How did you know it was my birthday?” He then went on to say that I was going to be the recipient of Concordia’s Master Educator Award at May’s graduation. All the blood drained from my body and I believe I muttered ‘….thanks’.
I don’t know – it’s all a blur.

It took quite some time to come to grips with it. There were many reasons this bothered me – most of them revolving around how I had had one of my most difficult years with several screw-ups on my part that made me feel like a complete rookie, plus the fact that when the bio form came to complete, it had a whole page of ‘tell us your community & church involvements, and any publications you have (and – I kid you not:) if too numerous, just list the most important ones‘. I had a tearful night when I told Lloyd that this just held up a mirror to what a lazy hermit I am.

Anyway, I’m over that now. I practiced just saying ‘Thank you’ and not trying to explain all my shortcomings, because honestly – nobody cares.

Oh, I also didn’t tell anyone about this. My thoughts were that we’d just get through the event and then I’d go shopping after graduation. When it was time to RSVP for the pre-graduation meal, I responded that it would just be me and Lloyd. Lloyd said, “Are you sure you don’t want to talk to your parents?” The guilt got me, so on Easter I called and said, “Happy Easter! (OhbythewayI’mgettinganawardandit’snobigdealandyoudon’thavetocome.)” Mom said, “Errrr, we already know and were planning on surprising you.” Apparently Beth had called by brother Mark and ratted me out. All is forgiven, Beth – I was glad to see my family. 🙂

Annette (here with SIL Rachel) was my host and nominator. I guess we could say this was all her fault doing.

Such happy girls!

Sitting around waiting for fancy grub.

The staff at the CDC, who really are the ones who deserve this award because they are truly the best people on earth to work with, threw a surprise party for me last week with most excellent, appropriate presents!

We kid that I am just fixing the center with duct tape and zip ties.

So anyway, it’s all done now. I sat as still as possible up on stage, accepted the plaque when it was time, and didn’t even fall down once! For that alone, I should get another award.

Yes, I had a camera. Are you surprised? I was very sneaky.

Lloyd here now with with a few other photos (posted without Lauren’s permission)

(Lauren doesn't know I"m posting this. Click to enlarge)

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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37 Responses to “It’s a major award.”

  1. Gretchen Said on:

    Congratulations!!!!! That is amazing!
    I just have to ask…what did you wear?


  2. Brad Said on:

    First of all, excellent title. Ha! Did your plaque come in a box marked “Fragile”? If so, it was probably from Italy.

    Secondly, congratulations!

    Thirdly, I’m glad you forgave Beth. She was worried.

    Fourthly, I’m curious about what you wore too. I hope you went with the same costume that Rodney Dangerfield wore in “Back to School”


  3. Lauren Said on:

    Ha! Just a shirt (now known as ‘my only good shirt’) and a skirt -- both from Target, of course. One level of dress.


  4. Kris Said on:

    Lauren, that’s so awesome! Congratulations!


  5. Deborah Said on:

    Well deserved, Lauren! And good job sitting up in front of everyone and standing up in front of everyone and walking up in front of everyone!


  6. Lloyd Said on:

    Want to know how good a teacher she is?

    While the graduates were receiving the diplomas, I yawned. Lauren noticed my yawn out of 1,6000+ people in attendance, and gave me “the look”. I immediately stopped yawning and paid closer attention.


    • kathryn Said on:

      wow, I am impressed by this, mainly that you only yawned once, and that she didn’t!!!OK fess up, what drugs did you take to keep from yawning?


  7. Sherri Said on:

    Yeah, Lauren! That is fantastic and well deserved!


  8. Peggy Said on:

    CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN!!! That is just wonderful!! Your students and their families are so truly blessed having you in their lives….touching their hearts & inspiring them in so many ways!!

    And I agree that you deserve another award for not stumbling in front of all those people! (spoken by a fellow stumbler) 🙂


  9. Peter Said on:

    Congrats Lauren! (And thanks Lloyd for unauthorized photos & for spilling the beans on fb.) To think I had toyed with the idea of being in Seward for graduation this year. I would have actually known one of those people up on the stage!


  10. Roberta Said on:

    Hey Lauren, coming out of lurkdom to say Congratulations! I’ve often had the feeling that you downplay your skill and dedication too much. I am happy to see your efforts receive such awesome recognition!


  11. Beth Said on:

    Heh. I had just explained to Kristy (the woman to my right as you saw us) about how I was hoping you would some day forgive me of my part in all of this when you galnced over at me.
    Kristy laughed and said, “yea, I’m pretty sure she just gave you a ‘I’ll-kill-you-later-for-all-of-this’ look.” 🙂

    Congratulations! 😀


  12. Kristi Said on:

    Congratulations, Master Educator! I wish I could have been one of your students.


  13. kathryn Said on:

    I am SOOOOOO proud, and pleased that many others have recognized your obvious greatness, so cool, so my hero, wish you were my teacher, but at least I got to have you as my roommate. You once said that I had not changed really since college, sort of true, the truth is neither have you. You were always so awesome, so the person that made people go…. wow I wish I could be that . I know you don’t think of yourself that way, and I get that, and also that is why it works. Thanks for sticking with teaching. I know it has been REALLY hard, most of the time, but you truly are great at it. I was just sharing some of your blog posts with the director at our preschool the other day, and said “really what she should be is a expert resource that goes around and helps other preschools, except I know she would never presume to tell others what to do.” You are really great, congrats from one of your biggest fans!


  14. Tammy Said on:

    WOW -- that is impressive. And sometimes it’s OK to toot your own horn -- it allows others to celebrate with and be happy for you. Congratulations!


    • Lauren Said on:

      Thanks, Tammy! I guess it’s the acceptable kind of tooting, unlike the other kind which no one around here seems to appreciate. 😉


  15. Annette Said on:

    Congratulations Lauren. Your contributions to church and world are being planted in the lives of the children and families you serve.


  16. michelle Said on:

    yea Lauren!!!!
    You’re the best.


  17. Hartland Clubb Jr. Said on:

    Dear Lauren,
    Well Done! You should toot your horn! Glad to see another kid from little ‘ol Redeemer makin’ it big.


  18. Curt Said on:

    Congratulations Lauren!! You definitely deserve it!


  19. Lauren Said on:

    Thanks, Curt. 🙂


  20. Jane Sommerer Said on:

    Congratulations Lauren! That is an impressive award and your children are fortunate to have you.


  21. Laurie Said on:

    Lauren, I am late in the congrats! Now that I am out from under the grading haze, I was so impressed on Saturday 1)with your humble demeanor 2) with your concise thanks that lasted an appropriate amount of time and 3) the best award-reception outfit ever! Excellent work on everything!


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