Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mentor 1, Fairview's Mission Mentors Appreciation Dinner

Editor's Note
Celebrating mentors and hearing mentoring stories always inspire us. Below is an excerpt from the evening’s presentations. John Medley, Mission Mentors’ 2015 Mentor of the Year, shared his experience in the transcript below. His story reveals the kind of man John Medley is.

John's Story
Five years ago, Rocky Burchfield, Fairview’s superintendent of schools, approached me about becoming a mentor. I really wasn't interested. Rocky said he had the perfect boy for me.  I don't know why, but I said OK.

Cole, my mentee, is a good student with no apparent problems. During his fifth-grade year, he asked me to go on his class field trip. We went to the State Capitol. A year later I was honored as the Mentor of the Year, and again we went to the Capitol.  We had a great time. 

When I pick him up after school, his first words are usually, "I don't have any homework." One day we played a game of pool and were about to start a second one when he said, "I forgot. I have homework. Can I work on it now?" He had about 20 math problems. We discussed what he was doing and how to do it. The light bulb came on, and he finished most of them before I took him home.

When I went to watch his first junior high baseball practice, the coach had 37 boys out. I asked if I could take some of them and do something.  The coach gave me 20, and we practiced throwing. When it was over, he asked if I would be back tomorrow, and I was.

Cole is a great kid.  His mother was a student of my wife, Edith.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a mentor.

Not said at the banquet but added later through personal communication:

Cole’s dad died from a bad disease just before school started. His mother thought he needed a male in his life. The next year I developed cancer, lymphoma/ leukemia.  I knew I was going to die and tried to get out of being a mentor. Cole’s mom said she would talk to him, and Cole said he would keep me. She remarried, and he and his step-dad get along great.  Again I thought I wasn't needed.  Cole thought differently.

The first four years we mostly played games at the school. Now and then I would pick him up for lunch. A quick stop pizza was his choice. This year I have attended sporting events.

John Medley's Mentor of the Year Tribute

Below is the original tribute that Randi Lackey, Mission Mentors’ Match Support Specialist, sent to recognize John as Mission Mentors’ Mentor of the Year.

Mission Mentors has selected John Medley as its Mentor of the Year. John has been a devoted role model for his mentee, Cole, since the program began in 2010. Despite his grueling battle with cancer, John has been so dedicated in being involved with Cole, ensuring he never missed a visit during the school year. Mission Mentors does not require the mentors to meet during the summer, but John has always gone above and beyond, making sure he attended summer baseball games, practices, and lunch outings.  Every week, John picks up Cole and helps him with homework, and then treats him to a game of pool at our local bowling alley. Cole lost his father suddenly in 2008 and John has been a wonderful role model, allowing Cole to thrive as a student, son, and young man.
In addition, John has a servant’s heart.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1960-1963.* He now serves as a faithful deacon at First Baptist Church in Fairview. John retired from the US Postal Service as the Superintendent of Postal Operations in Fairview.
*  John was stationed in Germany for two years.  His wife was with him for one year, and their youngest daughter was born there in the backseat of a new Mercedes, a taxi. 

Wanda Pratt, aka "Mama Durant;" Cole, John's mentee; John Medley,
Mission Mentors' Mentor of the Year; and Linda Neal, president of the
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in the House Chamber,
Oklahoma State Capitol January 15, 2015.

Cole and John

About Mission Mentors and Fairview

Randi Lackey, match support specialist; Jeremy Bennett,
co-speaker and a field representative for Congressman
Frank Lucas; Vicki Ewbank and Susie Harder, founding
directors of Mission Mentors; Christine Sorrels, co-speaker
and director of Yukon Public Schools Miller Mentors
and Helping Hand Volunteers; Rocky Burchfield,
superintendent of Fairview; and Jennifer Bur
also a founding director of the mentoring program

Fairview, a rural, western Oklahoma town with a population of about 2,500, began Mission Mentors in 2010. Superintendent Burchfield and the Mission Mentors Board of Directors decided that school-based mentoring for grades 1st-5th and community-based mentoring for grades 6th-12th would work best for them. This hybrid model has become one of Oklahoma's four best school-based mentoring models.

The Mentor Appreciation Banquet, June 4, 2015, had two other speakers, parts of whose presentations will appear in subsequent posts. Calleen Davis, a Fairview resident, catered the outstanding homemade food, including sliced beef that melted in one's mouth, chicken, blueberry bread pudding, chocolate cake, and more. The historic, remodeled Fairview Community Center is the perfect venue for such an event.

Blackledge Hall

About Mission Mentors' Hybrid Mentoring Program

About the Mission Mentors 


We salute Fairview's Mission Mentors team--the town, the board, and the school system. 

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