It was the last day of school in 4th grade, 1991, at Candlewood Elementary School in Rockville, Maryland. I received my report card and I really didn't have a desire to see how I did that 4th grading period. My desire was on the back of the report card to see who I was going to have as my 5th grade teacher that next year. There were three to choose from (like I had a choice), but there was only one who's class I wanted to be in. He was the coolest and most awesome teacher, and he was in charge of the patrols. I looked at the back of my report card that day in June and it said that I was going to be in Mr. Kuykendall's class for 5th grade. I was elated!!!
That next year in 5th grade was one of, if not, the best years of my K-12 public education career. There were so many things about his class that made it enjoyable to learn. I remember one time he showed us a picture of Lou Gehrig's baseball jersey that was sold at auction. He then asked us to guess how much the jersey sold for. I guessed $100,000. Another classmate guessed $150,000. The correct answer was $125,000. We both got a Snickers bar for being the closest.
Today, I surprised him after school. He had absolutely no idea that I was coming. We talked for a bit in the library, but then he had something he had to do and then an appointment to go to, but he asked if I had dinner plans. We had dinner at the Ruby Tuesday at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, which he frequents occasionally. We were there for a good two and a half hours, mostly reminiscing about that year in 5th grade. He managed to find his photo album of "Candlewood 1991-1992." Wow. Oh the memories. I was actually surprised I could remember most of my classmates' names. He was a great model for me as a man and as a teacher.