But whenever the magic occurs, its always a delightful surprise.
Today the magic strikes in the most unlikely of all places: the counselor's office. I spot a former student, newborn sitting in her lap. For a second, I don't recognize her, her baby surprises me. "Hey, Mr. Leiken," she cries out happily, "I'm getting my diploma!"
If there was ever a student that deserved a diploma, this girl was the model. After school, every day, often until five o'clock, studying for tests, finishing assignments - this girl refused to give up. At times it seemed hopeless, her disabilities hindered her from passing the exit exam, even the most basic assignments were time intensive, labors worthy of Hercules.
Step by step, word by painstaking word, holding her hand through essays and tests, we pushed the student through.
Poof! Another brief flash, an instant of joy. It's over.