I was in third grade and when I sat on top of the monkey bars on the playground, I could look out over the whole town. My dad worked in the steel mill and everywhere I looked I saw black soot from the chimneys. My older brother had just left for college and I figured out that my only ticket out of the hell hole I saw was to get a good education. I climbed down from the monkey bars, ran across the playground and returned to class a different student. From that day forward, education was my whole world. I became an honor student and eventually a teacher and school counselor. I retired in June 2007 and finished a specialist degree the following July. Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the great public school education I received and the doors it opened for me in life.