Mr. Simon working with Women's Glee
Mr. Andrew Simon came into my world in mid-December, 2017. It could not have been a more timely entrance. I hadn't had an intern since 2009. When I was approached by his Music Ed professor at the University of North Florida in October, there was no way I could have known what was heading my way. I agreed to take him on and I am so thankful that I did.
My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October, 2016 and had been in remission for the past 18 months. In January, 2018, her cancer returned with a vengeance and she opted not to treat it. We were told she would be gone by June. Mr. Simon was such a gift! He covered my classes when I had to be away supporting my mother. He bonded with my students and they learned so much from him. He lifted my spirit when it was at it's lowest point and we were nearing the end of this chapter in our lives.
I told Mr. Simon that I was going to have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Although I had given him Women's Glee as a laboratory choir, he learned all of our music for the Spring concert in case my mom passed away and I could not be there to conduct. He had such a good attitude and assured me he would see me through this and he did. My mother died two days after our concert.
Mr. Simon graduated from UNF on Friday, April 28th and I know in my heart of hearts we will be forever friends and lifelong colleagues. My heartfelt thanks go out to Dr. Timothy Groulx, Professor Jane Palmer and to Andrew Henry Simon for being my support system (either directly or indirectly) over the past 6 months. I would not have survived this experience without you.
And to my sweet Momma, who will always be in our hearts....
Jo Ann Nader Abdullah
October 16, 1934
May 3, 2018
Until next time....