TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2021: Katelynn Heilman

The TCT family – for creating my happy place

You are all the most creative and riveting group of people I have ever met. Thank you all for constantly pushing me to work harder and think bigger. You all have given me nothing but kindness and incredible individuals to look up to. Mr. George – you have changed my life in countless ways; I wouldn’t have nearly as much confidence in my writing or myself if it wasn’t for your constant motivation and inspiration. Thank you for genuinely caring about your students as much as you do. The editors – thank you for how hard you work and for how much genuine passion each of you obviously has. You all are the epitome of welcoming, kind, and inspiring. Lucas Thompson – I look forward to our talks in sixth hour every day; thank you for asking me how I am each day and actually wanting to hear the answer. I endlessly appreciate your friendship and how much you add to this class. Lauren Brace – I cannot thank you enough for your words of encouragement and the time you put into editing my writing; you add so much to everything I do and have never had a bad suggestion. Jessie Warren – you are one of the kindest people and most talented writers I’ve ever met. Thank you for making me a better writer and being such a mentor during my first few months of navigating The Central Trend. Allie Beaumont – both inside and outside of this class, you make each day better; thank you for constantly being such a bright light in my life. 

Ava Redmond – for creating me and my world

Since the first day we met, I’ve felt that as long as someone as incredible as you was my friend, I could do anything; the only word to truly encapsulate you is life-changing. I wouldn’t be half the person I am now without you by my side. Thank you for giving me friendships with the best people this world has to offer, for pushing me to actually live life and not let any moment pass me by, for laughing at everything I do whether it’s funny or not, for making me laugh harder then anyone else can, and for choosing my world to come in and completely alter for the better. I could go on for pages about our FaceTimes during history Zoom calls that just thinking about could make me laugh or our silent conversations in classes that slowly improve as you teach me more sign language, but all that needs to be said now is that I will forever wonder how I got so lucky for my other half to be as astounding as you are. 

Lydia Bolger for being my happiness

You extend into every aspect of my life and make it better. With you, I have made some of my favorite memories of all time, and so many of them consist of us just driving around to nowhere. As long as you’re by my side, I’m happier and having fun; because of you, I have laughed on the worst days of my life. You are the kindest person I have ever met. I genuinely feel so honored to have you in my life. You have given me the inspiration to be a better person on the daily, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, a second home, a second family, a safe space to always be myself, and way too much more. I would do anything with you or for you because I know you would do the same for me. Thank you for absolutely everything, Lyd. 

Mady Grimaldi – for adding excitement to the most simple situations 

I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it; it would be so boring if I didn’t get to experience the energy, humor, and emotion that you bring into every moment we spend together. With you, I am always genuinely having a good time. You can make any situation fun just by being there. I wouldn’t love to go to work even half as much if you hadn’t given me the opportunity to come out of my shell and show everyone that I can actually talk; as long as you’re with me, I can be myself. Car rides home from school are so much better when you’re in the car; you’re so good at turning the “have to’s” into “get to’s.” Thank you for making my life so much more fun to live. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have you by my side. 

Sarah Bethel – for making me laugh

I can think of so many moments where you have single-handedly turned my mood around completely just by being you. I would never trade the moments that you have me laughing in choir for anything. I cherish the moments I get to spend with you; the few minutes in my car before school starts on one-hour-delays, the days where I get to talk to you in between fifth and sixth hour, and every other moment you’re in feel so important. It’s so nice to have someone in my life that always makes me smile when I see you and makes it so easy to keep that smile when I talk to you. Thank you for never letting me stop laughing and consistently making my days ten times better. If it’s true that laughing adds years to your life, you alone have added at least ten to mine. 

My Lang table – for letting me sit with you on the first day of school

I’m beyond grateful for each day I get to spend coming up with thesis after thesis and working on group projects with all of you. The closer I get to each of you, the luckier I feel. Payton Vincent – you make every day a better day. Everything that you do adds joy to my life and our talks walking from fifth to sixth hour are consistently a highlight of my day. Thank you for being such a good human. Grace Crook – you, your outfits, and your passion gives me life. Thank you for all the summaries of chapters in books I should’ve read more closely and for constantly improving my day. Mackenzie Wintrich – you add so much to my world. You constantly have an interesting story to tell and there is never a boring conversation with you; thank you for making my world brighter. 

Abby Cumings – for your smile

You manage to make every class of mine that you’re in happier. You constantly turn around so many people’s days for the better with your kindness and smile alone. Thank you so much for being you and doing what you do every day. You are a light in this world, and your brightness is unmatched. 

Kaylin Schueneman – for your thoughtfulness

Your ability to think of others and do kind things for everyone around you is incredible. I will never forget all of the beyond thoughtful gifts you give to people, the cookie and hug you gave to a stranger who needed it, and all the things you remember about people’s lives. You are incredible, and I’m so glad I get to be surrounded by your positivity as much as I do. 

Choir – for making my day, every day

I feel so proud to be a part of a group of individuals who are as talented and kind as each of you are. The energy that radiates from everyone every morning is something that I’m genuinely grateful to be able to experience each and every day. Mr. Ivory – thank you for being not only an amazing teacher but a mentor and inspiration that my friends and I are so thankful to get to learn from—both in music and in life—each day. Payton Dailey – you are the first person that makes me smile every day; you constantly start each of my days on a positive note, and I’m so thankful you’re someone I get to see every morning. Thank you for having such a contagious and positive spirit; I appreciate you more than you will ever know. Gavin O’Meara – thank you for making me feel valued and seen every day; it’s incredible to know someone whose kindness shines through just as much as their talent. Kamdyn, Ethan, and Noah – thank you for adding so much fun to this class every day; I am so thankful for my friendships with each of you. Val Garza – you are one of the funniest people I know, and the atmosphere of the choir room wouldn’t be even close to the same without you. 

My family – for being such amazing people

Thank you all for the constant love and support you have given me. I consider myself so fortunate to have a support system that’s as caring and involved as all of you consistently are. In this family, I have the most incredible role models, but also some of my best friends. You all are incredible in your own ways, and I love each of you with my full heart.

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