Looking back on our school days

Summer’s coming to an end, and that means kids all over Kansas soon will be heading back to school (Parents rejoice!). During a recent meeting, KAC staffers started reminiscing about our younger days and decided to share our most adorable (and in some cases, embarrassing) photos and memories from our school days. Enjoy!

Christie Appelhanz, vice president for public affairs
I pulled out my front tooth the night before third grade pictures. My mother was horrified, but I thought I never looked better. I picked this picture for two reasons: 1. I still remember how I loved my red and white sailor culottes outfit. 2. This year my daughter Kate enters third grade, a crucial educational milestone where students make the switch from learning to read to reading to learn.


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Hilary Gee, director of health policy
This is my school picture from Toddlers. I was 2 and a half. I called my teacher (Mrs. McDonald) Donal. There were six 2-year-olds in my class who would follow her around the school, so the class was described as Mrs. McD and her ducklings.


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Lisa Owen, office manager
Awkward teenage years, approximately 15 years old. I had only been back in the United States about a year and my best friend from school in Germany got to travel up from Fort Campbell, Ky., by Greyhound bus to visit me. We were taking her back to bus station when these were taken—me in the orange stripes and Leigh in purple. My grandma Jennie is in the background—probably wondering what the heck was wrong with us as we were laughing like maniacs at something!


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Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO
According to my mother, this photo captures the essence of who I was as a young child. “A quiet, introspective little lady that didn’t like to be at the forefront of anything.” Not sure what happened that transformed that little girl into a doggedly persistent advocate for children and families. Few people would describe me as quiet these days!


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Rochelle Adams, operations specialist/executive assistant
This is a picture of me during the time I was in a church preschool. What a great age for kids to start learning all aspects of life. I cracked my first egg to make a cake in this class. Life was all about having fun in the sun and taking care of my animals during this age.


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Lauren Beatty, communications director
Oh, hello there. I’m just sitting in this director’s chair, minding my own beeswax. What? These glasses? Yeah, I just told mom to get me the biggest ones at the Wal-Mart optical shop. Like, the biggest. See ya in chem class. (Wow. This photo brings back searing memories of what an awkward, nerdy kid I was. I mean, I’m still awkward and nerdy but now I have coping mechanisms. Namely, beer.)


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April Holman, executive director of the Kansas Coalition for School Readiness
My family lived in Uitenhage, South Africa, when I was 7 years old and this picture was taken. School there was much more regimented than my elementary school in Michigan, but I learned a lot of really different and fun things like how to knit and basic words in Afrikaans and Xhosa. I think I was sunburned the entire time we lived in South Africa because we spent every weekend at the beach or the pool.


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Janelle Brazington, vice president for administration
I was 8 years old and in second grade when this picture was taken. I started at a new school with new teachers and classmates. Being new didn’t stop me from standing up to a bully in defense of my friend. I was incensed at the indignity and injustice and found my passion in defending the vulnerable and at-risk—the beginning of my life as an advocate.


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2 Comments on “Looking back on our school days”

  1. I LOVE these pictures and your willingness to share them with others! Kids everywhere and at all ages need the opportunity to grow and thrive as each of you has!

  2. I love this-what a great way to connect with your readers! I especially like Christie’s reference to culottes as in 5th grade in Louisville, KY my mother proudly sent me to school in a culotte outfit that looked like a dress from the front and shorts from the back-all a modest length of course. My mother was called to come and bring a dress to school as culottes were not allowed. My how times have changed!

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