Mr. Little, thank you for thinking of my future and me
In previous columns, I have reflected on some of the teachers I had as a student here in Vicksburg. These instructors inspired, challenged or just made me feel special.
So because this is Teacher Appreciation Week, I wanted to add another educator to the list who made a difference in my life — Larry W. Little.
Mr. Little died recently, and from the outpouring of comments I saw posted on Facebook in light of his death, it was obvious I was not the only one impacted by his care and support.
Mr. Little was a guidance counselor at Warren Central High School where I attended and I did not have as much interaction with him as I did my teachers, but this did not change his concern for my education.
I wasn’t the top student in my class, but Mr. Little didn’t seem to let that get in the way.
When he asked me to name the field I wanted to study, I replied medical. He scheduled me for chemistry and human physiology, never questioning my capabilities in these tough classes.
I have to admit, I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but I did learn something.
I no longer wanted to be a doctor. I was still curious about how the body worked, but after experiencing the difficulty of these subjects, it was evident that my strong suit lay somewhere else.
In addition to the struggle I had with some of my course work, I also had to deal with wearing a Milwaukee brace.
I had been diagnosed with scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine, and while it had not been an issue while I was younger, as I got older the curvature increased. To hopefully avoid an invasive surgery down the road, I wore the brace.
Eighth-grade students attended school at Warren Central in those days and from eighth grade through tenth grade, I was an oddity. If you aren’t familiar with a Milwaukee brace, Google it; it is a hideous contraption.
My last two years of high school were much improved since I was free from the brace, but unfortunately, I still had to have the surgery that required a year-long recovery period, meaning I would have to postpone my freshman year of college.
But this did not stop Mr. Little from helping me move ahead with a college plan. He found a scholarship, for which I qualified because of my scoliosis, and all four years of my college tuition were paid by a Vocational Rehabilitation scholarship.
Mr. Little truly went the extra mile for me, and there is no doubt in my mind he did the same for others.
With an educational career that spanned more than four decades, Mr. Little’s obituary that ran in The Vicksburg Post reflected that his most enjoyable and satisfying years of his career were spent as the Director of Guidance and Counseling at Warren Central.
And in those years, the school flourished.
The obituary said during the 1970s and 1980s, Warren Central was one of the premier high schools in the state of Mississippi and southeast, and this was due in part to the leadership of Mr. Little.
I feel proud I was part of that era, and I feel honored to have had a man like Mr. Little as a guidance counselor.
Thank you, Mr. Little, and rest in peace.
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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