“There aren’t many Catholics in Valdosta, Georgia,” says Robert Lasseter.
Robert’s wife, Melanie, has a long-standing relationship with St. John Catholic School in Valdosta. She started first grade at St. John and graduated from eighth grade there before moving on to high school. Melanie shared some of her fondest memories of being in Catholic school which included story time with Sister Pauline in the first grade.
Years later Melanie would return to St. John to teach English. “You raised a generation of arrogant punctuation police,” says Robert.
“Not just punctuation police, grammar police,” corrects Melanie.
Eventually, Melanie became principal of St. John, although at first she was unsure of whether or not she could do the job. “I was a good English teacher. I knew what I was doing. That was my comfort zone and I was being asked to move out of my comfort zone.” In the school’s 69-year history, Melanie is the very first lay person to serve as the principal.
Asked about her proudest moment as an educator, Melanie replied, “I like to tell the kids that we’re the ones who got Publix [a grocery store] to change the sign at their check-out from ‘Ten items or less’ to ‘Ten items or fewer!’ “