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10th and Penn Elementary School Teacher Receives a Special Invite

It takes a special person to work in the field of education. Not only are they skilled at what they are teaching, but they also take pride in kindness and dedicate themselves to helping our youth succeed. 

Over the years, teachers make connections with students, and oftentimes, those connections blossom into friendships outside of school. At 10th and Penn Elementary School, Mrs. Josephine Trexler is one of those special teachers who continues to make a lasting impact as a grade school teacher far after graduation. 

Mrs. Trexler was recently touched by one of those connections as she received a wedding invitation from a past student, Phuong Nguyen. “As a teacher, I have been invited to baseball games, piano recitals, dance recitals, and graduation parties but never a bigger celebration like this,” said Mrs. Trexler.

“I was so touched by the amazing human being [Phuong] has become. The kindness I felt when I received the invite was overwhelming. I was just so touched,” said Mrs. Trexler. Phuong Nguyen was a student in Mrs. Trexler’s first class in the Reading School District—her 1998 kindergarten class. One small act of kindness can show how much of an impact we make on each other’s lives. 

Mrs. Trexler said that while Phuong was at 10th and Penn, she was a bright, kind student. “She would come to visit me after she wasn’t in my class anymore at 10th and Penn. We didn’t have much contact until about ten years ago when she was in college, thinking about majoring in education. After that, out of the blue, she reached back out, and we have stayed in touch,” said Mrs. Trexler. 


In her most recent email to Mrs. Trexler, Phuong explained different examples of how Mrs.Trexler impacted her life.

“I think of you often when I look back on my K-12 experience. I do not remember much from kindergarten, but I do remember your warmth, kindness, and patience. One core memory I have with you was during a day that other students placed gifts/items on a table for you (not sure of the occasion). I was not prepared, but I wanted to give you something, so I found a plastic easter egg with candy in my bag and placed it on the table. You later came over to me with the egg and wanted to open it in front of me. I was nervous at first when you came over because I thought you did not like the small gesture. But as you opened the egg, you were enthusiastic about what was inside and were very appreciative of the gift. That experience left a mark on me for so many years in that I appreciate all the small, thoughtful acts others give to me that may often go unnoticed,” Phuong states in her invitation email. 

As the wedding invite was attached to the email, Phuong’s final statement was, “Thank you for being an exceptional teacher and for leaving a compassionate mark on my heart. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully having the honor of your presence at my wedding.” 

Mrs. Trexler’s method to her impact? Caring. “Teaching all goes back to caring. It is more than reading and math. Teaching is more than just 180 days. It goes back to caring about the kids,” said Mrs. Trexler as she held back tears.