CARNEY, Okla. - Carney, Oklahoma. Population – about 700, give or take a few. And like any rural Oklahoma town, the school is the heart of this little place, especially one very special teacher.
The entire school is gathered around inside the school gym listening to Mr. Lawson Thompson talk about the FFA program.
They have one of the top chapters in the country – in the top 10, in fact.
The faculty asked Mr. Thompson to put together this assembly to recognize the FFA students, but Thompson has no idea that the assembly is really a way to surprise him.
As he is addressing the crowd, the principal steps to take the mic.
"Mr. Thompson, I'm sorry to interrupt, and I know he doesn't like recognition, but he thinks this whole thing was planned for his kids, but really it was put together for him, because we have some people here to honor Mr. Thompson.”
"I'm Joleen Chaney with News 4 and this is Jason White, and I know you think we're here because you're talking about how you have a top 10 Ag and FFA chapter, but you're also a top 10 in Oklahoma. We have a campaign called Thankful 4 Teachers, and out of all the nominations in the state, you're one of the top 10. We are here to present you with a five thousand dollar check on behalf of News 4 and Air Comfort Solutions."
“Ownership at Air Comfort Solutions believes that everyone in this room will be affected by a teacher at some point in their life,” Jason White said.
And here’s how Mr. Thompson does just that.
"I love all my kids every day. That's my number one goal. One week I sat down and made a list of goals, and my number one is to make kids feel loved. It sounds cheesy, and I don't like being cheesy, but that's a huge thing we push in my program,” he said. “Getting kids in there. Getting them plugged in and finding them a spot where they can get involved and taste that success."
"You can do anything you set your mind to. The difference is you have to choose to do it. If you want to be successful and find that later success that's bigger than this town, then go out and get involved,” he said. “Nothing will make you more proud than getting to come back home or anytime anyone says, "Where are you from?" "You can look them straight in the face and say, "I'm from Carney, OK. Nice to meet ya."
Carney, OK. Tuttle, OK (hometown of Jason White). A small, country school or a big university, success comes in many forms. It all has to start somewhere, and for that may we always be thankful.
"Thank you, Air Comfort Solutions!"
Thankful 4 Teachers is sponsored by Air Comfort Solutions.