Courtesy Photo | Wendy Goodwin with her first grade class at Apollo Elementary

Submitted by Sonja Bailes, Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Schools

Wendy Goodwin had a calling eight years ago to switch careers and there are many people at Bossier Schools who are glad she answered it.

After spending several years in the hospitality industry, Goodwin is now a first grade teacher at Apollo and looks forward to every day in the classroom. She even enjoys Mondays.

“I love my job and am so thankful to be at Apollo and working with these children,” she said. “Mondays are not a bad day. I look forward to seeing my kids.”

This Monday was an especially good one when Goodwin attended what she thought was a safety assembly. It quickly became obvious there was something else going on when a letter was read aloud from Donnie Underwood, the father of one of her students.

Wendy Goodwin, first grade teacher at Apollo Elementary
Wendy Goodwin, first grade teacher at Apollo Elementary

“Our son was born at 26 weeks, weighing only 21 ounces. We were warned his potential for a normal life and success was minimal,” Underwood wrote. “In May 2015 he could only spell one word; ‘mom,’ and could not read. Through help with a learning center and much consideration, we decided to move back to Bossier to put in him a school system we knew was excellent and put him in Apollo. It was this scenario that put us in contact with an amazing teacher, Wendy Goodwin.”

Underwood went on to describe how his son had separation concerns, so to allay his anxiety, Goodwin walks him to class every morning. And that’s not all.

“She has worked so hard with Morgan and he is now reading and writing and has all A’s and B’s … Morgan loves his teachers and we actually do, too. We could not have handpicked someone with any more skill, dedication, compassion and expertise as Mrs. Goodwin. Each morning she takes his hand, opens his mind and touches all of our hearts. Tom Brokaw once said, ‘It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.’ Mrs. Goodwin has made a difference in the life of our son.”

The heartfelt letter brought tears to Goodwin’s eyes as Underwood walked out, accompanied by her family and a Bossier Federal Credit Union representative, who surprised her with the Gold Star employee award for November.

“That’s what makes it worth it is right there,” as Goodwin pointed to Morgan, when asked why she loves her profession. “I love it. Just the joy and seeing the light in their (her students’) eyes when they read a word and become fluent. It’s the most rewarding job there is. You look forward to going to work everyday.”

Apollo Principal Laura Leflett sings Goodwin’s praises, too.

“Mrs. Goodwin loves teaching and it is evident in her interaction with her students daily,” Leflett said. “She is kind, caring and knows how to challenge her students to reach their goals. She goes above and beyond each day to help every one of her students succeed.”

Leflett went on to say, “She wears many hats in her first grade classroom. Mrs. Goodwin is a teacher, counselor, nurse, mentor, encourager and friend. She teaches with her heart and changes the lives of the students fortunate to spend time in her classroom.”

Bossier Schools is fortunate to have Wendy Goodwin as one of our shining Gold Stars. Morgan and his family feel the same way.