Student presents teacher with special gift

Published 8:30 am Thursday, December 24, 2009

John Johnson Elementary School fourth-grade student Michael Bryant, daughter of Dana and Max Bryant, made this Christmas an especially happy one for her teacher, Jamie Ard.

Knowing that Ard is an avid Florida State University Seminoles football fan, she said she decided to make the extra effort to give him what she called the best Christmas present in the world.

She wrote a letter to retiring Seminoles legendary head football coach Bobby Bowden telling him what a good teacher and good man Ard was and how much he has helped her with her school work, particularly her long division.

She opened the letter by telling Coach Bowden that she wanted to ask his help in getting a special gift for a special teacher and person who loves his students and FSU.

She explained that it was her last year at John Johnson Elementary School and Ard is a very special person, and asked coach Bowden if he would send her a picture of himself with a note on it to Ard.

Coach Bowden graciously sent the picture with the inscription “Mr. Jamie Ard, Go Noles, Bobby Bowden.”

Ard said the gift is very special to him and it is something he will always cherish.

“When Michael presented the inscribed picture to me, my first reaction was ‘Michael, how did you pull this off,’” he said. “I’ve always admired coach Bowden, who is one of the top three college football coaches of all time and a very inspirational and Godly man.”