Don’t forget the teachers who shaped your life

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From 1974-1975, Mrs. Kathy Dreaden Gilliam taught me in kindergarten at Nashville’s Brookmeade Elementary.

She contacted me last month after seeing me on the news following our Diversity Brunch at the Islamic Center of Nashville. It had been 42 years since we last spoke, after being among her first batch of students following her graduation from Lipscomb University.

On May 2, on my way to Georgia Tech to attend an engineering conference, I stopped by Pelham Elementary, where she is now teaching, surprised her, took her out to lunch and gave her an engraved glass apple stating: “Dear Mrs. Dreaden Gilliam. Thank you for giving me a head start to my education.  Love, Rashed Fakhruddin.”

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