I met Regina Goad at El Camino High School when she was invited by my hosting teacher to sit in on our "You're Worth Waiting For," presentation. Little did I know how momentous that one class period would be for us both. Several years, later when LAUSD refused to allow us to tell our story anymore, Regina organized students and collected 1300 signatures to petition the district to reverse their decision.
We were kindred spirits. Neither of us had children of our own, but both of us invested in other people's kids. We shared a love for Disneyland and old Disney movies. We were sisters-in-Christ -- partnering together to ask for God's blessing and protection on us and our students in a hostile-to-Christ environment. Together, we had a million ideas and plans about how we were going to help young people resist the pressures around them to settle for less: me in the sex/love/relationship realm and she in academics, health, and every day life choices.
Regina passed away quite unexpectedly on June 18th, 2021. It is no exaggeration for me to say, my world has experienced a great loss. Regina brought encouragement, challenge and insight into every room she entered. Her thousands of students -- even the ones who thought she worked them too hard -- always knew she was FOR them. She invested everything she had to give at any given moment into their success. She taught "Health" -- and Character and Smart Decision making and Not Settling and Believing in yourself when others don't.
I have known many teachers, in LAUSD and other districts, that I admired and respected. Regina was in a class by herself. In the same way she lifted up and encouraged her students, Regina never failed to lift me up. Before every presentation, her students would give me a "power-whoosh." On her signal, the class synchronized pounding on their desks three times and then throwing their hands toward me, proclaiming WHOOOSH! It was just a way of saying, "Here is some positive energy before you bare your soul."
In gratitude for having her life path cross mine, and to honor her blessed memory, let me pass on my own version of a power-whoosh: Whatever you face or fear, trying to do the impossible will never cause you shame. Go for it!