Stacey Bess Visits the School of Education


On April 12th, Southern Nazarene University hosted the pre-broadcast premiere of the Hallmark Hall of Fame film “Beyond the Blackboard”. The movie tells the inspiring story of Stacey Bess, a young teacher who is assigned to teach at a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"The SNU School of Education played a significant support role in hosting the Premiere Showing of Hallmark Hall of Fame's production "Beyond the Blackboard" on April 12. They provided an invitation luncheon honoring the film's inspiring story of first year teacher Stacy Bess of Salt Lake City, Utah," stated President Loren Gresham.

In addition to the luncheon, Mrs. Bess was able to meet and speak to several education classes. “The SNU education majors had the opportunity of a lifetime! Stacey Bess who taught in a school with no name, no books, no desks, no administrator, and no custodian spoke in two education classes and ate lunch with fifteen students” said Professor Dr. Beverly Devries, “She challenged the education majors to see all children, regardless of their home situations, as students deserving respect and an excellent education.”

The education majors received a challenge from a teacher who worked in a dilapidated room, but who saw beyond the conditions of the room and looked into eyes of children who deserved more than they were getting. She emphasized to the students that teachers need to be an advocate for these children even if they need to plead with administration for books and desks. Mrs. Bess challenged the education majors to be the best teacher they can be and to love students unconditionally because if one child's life is changed, it is worth all the effort.

Stacey Bess' love for homeless children still radiates today. Her visit to campus will be an experience that will impact our education majors for their entire teaching career.