Mad for…Grace

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. (St. Augustine)

I found myself inside a CVS store this morning where it turns out I waited in vain for a prescription refill that wasn’t to be. While I waited, I overheard a frustrated mom of teenagers talking about her experience with the high school guidance counselor assigned to her son. Two things became immediately clear to me as she shared her utter disgust with the gal next to her. First, this woman’s children do not attend Guerin Catholic High School, nor has she had the pleasure of meeting a guidance counselor like Grace Pratt.

The third Thieme boy is now beginning his high school journey at GCHS. Just like Nick and Drew before him, Zach Thieme was assigned the intelligent and highly capable Mrs. Pratt to guide him through the process at Guerin Catholic and on to whatever adventure awaits him afterward. As I listened to a stranger grumble about the inattentiveness and lack of courtesy she has been experiencing with her child’s counselor, I thought, “Give thanks to the Lord…” for our fantastic experience. Sometimes, we take for granted the beautiful people God places on our journey.

Grace does something from the first moment she encounters a new student that I have always appreciated. While being respectful of everyone in the room, she focuses and directs all her questions to the student– not the parent. It sets a tone that in the minds of my sons ordered their brain to the concept that it’s THEIR education and THEIR responsibility to achieve both academically and socially. Yes, Mom and Dad want to help, and for sure they have teachers and a great counselor to guide them– but it’s time to take charge and set goals.

Grace has a sharp mind and a sarcastic quick wit. She’s kind, compassionate, and is a beautiful woman of faith. I don’t know her husband or children, but based on how she treats the rest of us in her path, I feel quite confident that they are all incredibly blessed to have her in their lives. It’s been seven years since my oldest son first started at Guerin Catholic, and in that time, I am not at all certain I have properly thanked Grace for her patience and professionalism. She needs them a lot in her line of work with squirrely teenagers.

When my oldest son was a either a junior or senior, he struggled that particular fall to get his schedule sorted out. He called me several times, looking for my advice about should I take the honors class or should I not…. and I was at the hospital in Lafayette where my Dad was quite ill. Frankly, I didn’t care. I wanted him to have the classes he needed to graduate but I was much more concerned about the attentiveness of the doctor in charge of Dad than Nick’s history class. “Talk to Mrs. Pratt and just FIGURE IT OUT, Nick Fred!” I’m pretty sure he changed his mind twice that first week of classes, and Grace probably wanted to throw her arms up. I needed him to navigate without me, and I knew full well that Grace Pratt would make sure it was solved. She did. Nick acknowledged he was “super annoying” to deal with, but he also said that Mrs. Pratt was helpful and accommodating. I was relieved and grateful to know a terrific human was there for us during that crazy time. She was equally helpful throughout the college search and application process for both Nick and Drew. Therefore, I was incredibly pleased that we lucked out and she’s still there at GC to take care of the Z-man.

Thank you for all you do each day, Grace. The quote I chose above? That’s what I think you inspire the students in your care to do each day! I am long overdue to let you know how much we at the Thieme house respect and appreciate you!!

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