“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

As I sit at my desk the Saturday before the first week of our THIRD year of HPA, I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude for all the people that have helped make this little school a reality. If I started a list, it would be miles long because I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without the amazing examples set by my teachers from elementary school all the way through college. I also wouldn’t be the Christian I am today without the wonderful pastors, youth leaders, and mentors I have had, but today, I am especially thankful for the strong women I have had in my life to speak words of life and truth into my spirit.

You see, while I’m writing this, my mom and her friends are driving two hours back home after making the pilgrimage up to Gallatin to see our new school building. Those cars that are on the road right now are filled with three generations of powerhouses – my mom and her friends, their daughters who I’m blessed to call my friends, and the newest addition to this hometown tribe – baby Palmer, who has the most beautiful blue eyes you have ever seen!

The Cowan Crew
Leah Salyer (HPA founder), Linda Thayer (“Mama Thayer”), Rose Pearson (family friend who named HPA), Mary Pearson Smith (lifelong friend), Patsy Rigsby (family friend), Jill Rigsby Higgs (lifelong friend and mom to that cutie in the baby carrier, Palmer)

These women know what it means to be a tribe – they celebrate the highs and hang with you through the lows, and raise their hands high on the roller coaster ride of everything in between! They have recipes for all occasions and can throw together a wedding or a baby shower (flowers, food, and all) with their hands tied behind their backs, and I love them fiercely.

So, today when they came to see our new school we moved into in February, it made it feel “real.” Having these ladies from my hometown see this giant dream of mine alive in this building was such an amazing experience, and it just reminds me of the phrase that we are standing on the shoulders of the giants that have come before us.

I had already decided that our theme for this school year would be mentorship, and today was just a beautiful confirmation. To stand in front of the school with Rose Pearson, who named Higher Path Academy; her daughter Mary, who has been one of my longest and very best friends; “Saint Patsy” as my mom calls her, and her sweet daughter Jill and grandson Palmer (I’m already missing those cute little toes!), I truly felt the importance of surrounding yourself with amazing mentors and a tribe that will dream with you, stand with you, cry with you, and fly with you.

Ladies, you have helped me learn to soar! Thank you!

Rose, Mary, and Mama Thayer in front of HPA
Rose Pearson, Mary Pearson Smith, and Linda Thayer

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