Renee Motley-Colbert was a long-time teacher at Little School who died unexpectedly over the summer several years ago. Her only child, daughter Imani, was born just before Niall, and we shared the ups and downs of pregnancy. Imani was in class with Niall for several years as well, including the year before Renee's death when Renee taught next door to Stephen, Niall's and Imani's teacher when they were 4.
I had known Renee for many years, as she taught Kellen when he was 8 for his first year in the Woods Building. She was a warm, steady presence, always, and I miss her.
This bench was designed by students and others at Little School, and carved by a local woodworker. It sits under the trees next to the Big Field, where we see it every day when we arrive at school and can walk by to touch the smooth surface and admire the detailed carvings on our way to play after school. It's a wonderful reminder of a member of the Little School community who left us much too soon. She and I were the same age, with a child the same age, and her passing was an all-too-stark reminder that we really don't know when we'll leave this world.