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PRESS RELEASE Impacting Students Long After They Leave the Classroom

North Saginaw Charter Academy

10/16/2013

Impacting Students Long After They Leave the Classroom
North Saginaw Charter Academy Alumna Credits Teacher with Supporting her Dream


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SAGINAW, Mich., October 15, 2013—Do you remember a teacher in elementary school who impacted your life in a positive way? Tirrea Billings does. In fact, to this day she still gives credit to a special teacher who encouraged her every day to push for academic excellence.
 
“She believed in me and did not accept anything that was not my best,” said Billings. “She was very enlightening and always reminded me to never let anything or anybody hinder me from pursuing my dreams.”
 
Tirrea is now a college student and a published author of the book “The Monster in the Basement.” She wrote the book when she was ten years old and a fifth-grade student at North Saginaw Charter Academy. It follows a young boy on Halloween night who hears a spooky sound from his basement.
 
Though the book was written more than ten years ago, it was first published in 2010. Not long after it was bound and printed, Tirrea reached out to her teacher Johnna McDonnell to thank her for always believing.
 
“She was every teacher’s dream, an outstanding and very polite young lady,” said McDonnell. “Her love for writing grew in my classroom and it was great to hear that she authored a book.”
 
Tirrea said she hopes to one day author another book, but right now she’s pursuing a new dream— to become a nature documentarian. She is currently attending Alma College where she studies environmental science and new media. She hopes current students at North Saginaw Charter Academy feel that same connection to a teacher and are encouraged to follow their gifts.
 
“Whether it is writing or something else, never ignore a gift that you may have. Spend time perfecting your craft and remember that all dreams are attainable as long as you have the ambition to achieve them,” Billings said.
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