A Valley teacher got a major surprise from a former student Wednesday, more than a decade after the two had seen each other.
“I’m not sure any other teacher would have done the things you did for me,” said Azur Kamar sporting his Dallas Cowboys jersey.
Being an educator can be a thankless job at times, but not on this day. Cowboy’s Linebacker Azur Kamar reached out to his sixth-grade teacher with boundless gratitude.
“It made me into the man I am today,” said Kamar.
Kamar was just 10 years old when he came to the US as a refugee from the Ivory Coast of Africa. He spoke French but little English.
“I didn’t even realize he was new to the country. I just thought he was new to my classroom and I don’t want any student to not feel welcome,” said Mrs. Margaret Bradley.
So Bradley, an ESL teacher for Frank Borman Elementary delivered him a simple gift - a French/English dictionary and a soccer ball that would change his life.
“I would have just loved to have known that some of the students I’d worried about made it through the eighth grade, but you could tell he was determined,” said Bradley.
“I think those were the two best gifts at that moment,” said Kamar.
He says the soccer ball helped him make friends and fit in, and the dictionary built his confidence with the language. He’d go on to even bigger things; college football, a business degree, and eventually drafted into the NFL.
Through each challenge, it was the memory of Mrs. Bradley pushing him to succeed. On Wednesday he made sure to let her know.
“You’ve done it, I was just a little stepping stone. You had the drive and the will to do it, I’m so proud of you,” said Bradley.
“Thank you Mrs. Bradley,” shouted Kamar. “Oh, you're welcome, you’ve made my year,” said Bradley.
Bradley says she uses Kamar's life as an example with her current students. Both acknowledged they wouldn’t let another decade go by without catching up once again.