Congratulations to Ms. Rosella Dambowy, our 2014 Star of the North award winner. For those who missed it, this is a tribute that was read at our meeting where Rosella was presented with the award.
Rosella Dambowy hast touched many lives and in all that time, she has been faithful in reminding people that we have a great country and a great Constitution.
While cruising the internet the other day I came across this written by one Heidi Schauer in a blog:
January 23, 2014
Dear Ms. Rosella Dambowy,
Thank you for planting seeds of belief and courage inside me when I was in third grade. You may not remember doing such a thing, but I remember it clearly.
The first planting took place on the stage in the elementary school gymnasium where our class had gathered to recite The Constitution. Remember how excited everyone was that us third graders were able to memorize The Constitution? I remember it being a pretty big deal (smile). Some of the kids had two parts to memorize. I was one of those kids. Back then memorizing things came easy for me, and I was excited that you would trust me with two parts. Just as you requested, I practiced my lines and I was prepared for our big day.
Our class walked in a single file line one student right after another, past my favorite rainbow wall where we could sign our names when we had accomplished something great. We all loved being able to write on that wall, and I was proud to have signed my name a time or two.
We wound ourselves down the hall and through the doorway and up the stairs to the stage. I was standing near the front of the line because I had some of the first lines to recite. As I stood behind the curtain on the left side of the stage, I watched you walk to the microphone in the middle of the stage and greet the parents and grandparents sitting in rows of metal chairs. Shortly after you had welcomed everyone and walked back off stage, I walked onto the stage, up to the microphone, and . . . I began reciting my second set of lines! The second lines – are you kidding me? Struck with panic I froze. Then, I turned my head to look at you as I wondered what to do.
Realizing what had happened you calmly walked onto the stage. “That’s okay,” you said, looking into my eyes and patting your hands on my shoulders once you reached me. “That’s okay.”
Standing next to me, you turned your attention to the audience and said with a smile, “Heidi was one of our students who took on two parts. She was practicing both parts and she started with the wrong one.” You looked at me then grinned, “Lets start again, shall we?”
Patting my shoulders once more, you turned and walked back to the left side of the stage. From behind the curtain you smiled and gave me the nod to begin again. I took a deep breath, and, recited the correct lines. When I was done, I walked off stage, circled around, and prepared to recite my second lines.
While I do not remember exactly which lines of The Constitution I was responsible for reciting, I do remember exactly what I learned that day. I learned that mistakes happen and they are not that big of a deal. I learned that when things do not go the way I plan or even hope, I should smile, collect my thoughts, take a moment to explain, breathe, and begin again. I should begin again. I have thought about that moment many times, and many times in my life, I have begun again. Thank you, Ms. Dambowy.
The second planting came that very same year in third grade. You were wearing a longer skirt like you often did, with your white sneakers. After handing back papers, you bent down next to my desk, looked right at me and said, “I want a copy of the first book you publish.”
You smiled. And you said it sincere.
My grandpa picked me up from school that day and I told him how you thought I was a good writer; how you thought I could write a book. You weren’t the type of teacher to say things just because your students wanted to hear them, so I knew if you said it, you meant it. I cherished that compliment. I tucked it away in a tiny part of my heart. Over the years I have reflected many times on the fact that you, my third grade teacher, thought I was a good writer. That you told me that. What a gift you gave me when you told me that. Thank you, Ms. Dambowy.
And now, after wanting so many times to tell you how much your words meant to me, finally, I was able. Like on the first day of third grade, I had butterflies in my tummy as I dialed your telephone number. But they flew away the moment you said, “Hello.”
I knew that voice. It was the same voice that assured me mistakes are okay, encouraged me to begin again, and believed I was a good writer. It was the same voice I had tucked away in a tiny part of my heart. How wonderful it was to hear that voice, your voice, on my 35th birthday.
“I’ve heard from students over the years,” you explained. “Every time I get tears in my eyes. I’m always amazed that people remember me.”
I get tears in my eyes, too. I will always remember you. You planted seeds of belief and courage inside me when I was in third grade. Thank you, Ms. Dambowy.
With love and gratitude,
Rosella has used that love of country and the Constitution by becoming very active in politics. She has been a delegate to the national convention several times. She has visited the Reagan Library. She also has been the leading force behind the Central Republican Women. She has served as a CD 6 Vice Chair and on her local BPOU, as well. For many years, she was in charge of registration at the CD 6 conventions and helped in registration at the state conventions. When it came time for the CD6 day at the Republican booth at the State Fair, Rosella was the one that found all of the volunteers. For a while, whenever we would turn on the TV and Laura Bush was visiting or other Republican dignitaries, there would be Rosella in the background! In fact, she has a picture on her wall of Princess Di in England, and sure enough, there is Rosella in the background!
Rosella’s love of country also comes through in other ways. Did you know that she goes on the VolksMarch at Crazy Horse. She also hikes trails at Glacier National Park where she used to be in charge of the food service at the lodge when she was young.
So I would like to introduce Rosella Dambowy, lover of teaching the constitution, lover of our country, and volunteer extraordinaire!
For a list of our past winners of this and other awards, please click here.