|Portrait of Mrs. Calco
Along with my school family, I mourn the death last week of our principal, Kym Calco, after a courageous battle with leukemia. She was a woman who lived with passion and joy. Mrs. Calco was a thorough professional, yet knew how to embrace adventure. It was only last year when, along with several teachers, we accompanied her to Columbus for an ACSI convention. We must have circled our destination several times, laughing as our GPS had a total meltdown navigating so many detours that it could only repeat “recalculate” in an unending loop. By the time we shut it off and found the destination on our own, we were late. Like a seasoned NASCAR driver swinging into the pit, Mrs. Calco maneuvered into our parking spot with what can only be described as efficient precision. Still bubbling with laughter, she threw off her headscarf and pulled on her wig with practiced ease. We all spilled out of the car at a run, struggling to slip into a more fitting demeanor. With just minutes to spare, she walked to the front of the sanctuary, composed and dignified to receive a certificate on behalf of LCCS. She moved seamlessly between different situations, engaging those around her to be a part of the journey.
As a teacher, she challenged me to dig deeper and reach higher. I wish I could say I always did so joyfully, but that wouldn’t be honest. She taught me about how to use “EQs,”or to the uninitiated, “Essential questions.” They're the questions that can’t be answered with “yes,” “no,” or rote answers. They’re the ones that distill a lesson down to the one or two meaty things on which I wish my students to chew.
Standing in a school worship service the day after she died, my heart was lifted to hear our young men and women praying aloud for the Calco family, our school, and thanking God for the impact she had on their young lives. I want to pause and reflect on that today. If I were to write the essential question for the lesson she taught me through her luminous example, it would be this: How can I live to make a difference for Jesus in the lives of others?