Waters Leaves Behind Teaching Legacy

Norma Broussard Waters left behind a legendary teaching career to be with the Lord on July 24, 2014.  With her passing, a 33-year campaign of educating countless students at the Cathedral grade school comes to a close, leaving a hole in the hearts of many that will never be fully healed.  My four children ranging in age from 19 to 37 are part of her teaching legacy and each was profoundly affected by her leaving this world.

Not every teacher could handle seventh and eighth graders like Norma Waters, and she accomplished this feat with a sometimes shrill voice, a firm, boney grip and a capacity to help kids learn while earning their complete respect.  These are rare qualities in the classroom, but Mrs. Waters had them all and wielded them like the master teacher she was.

One of Norma’s greatest passions was teaching science to young people, something for which she was also exceptionally skilled. Simply examine the incredible Science Olympiad competition record of St. John Berchmans School and the proof of six national appearances in a row stands as testament to her teaching and organizational ability.  While battling cancer, she even attended the school’s last national Science Olympiad appearance in Orlando, FL because she was not going to miss out on her student’s continued success.

Her influence on young people and their families extended far beyond the classroom as my children, like so many others, always sought Norma out when they visited the school later in life.  They wanted to touch base with their beloved teacher, share some laughs and keep her informed of their lives and their accomplishments, maintaining what they considered to be a very important friendship.  Parents followed suit and felt the same type of affection for one so instrumental in the formation of their children and so understanding of the stresses involved in raising young teenagers.

Many consider teaching the greatest profession and Norma Waters certainly did much to maintain that reputation.  She may be replicated but she will never be duplicated because she was a one-of-a kind teaching dynamo, and hundreds of children and parents are blessed by her decades long presence among us.
If heaven has a classroom, Norma Waters is there with her iron stare, her iron will, and her incredible capacity to help people learn.  The good Lord is indeed lucky to have her with Him in the school of eternity.

by John Mark Willcox

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