Carpenter Elementary School Assistant Principal Mr. Sean Degman spent much of Friday visiting classrooms and reading books to the students, but the books he chose to read weren’t just any old books.
“Is there anything you notice about the author’s name?” asked Mr. Degman to one fourth grade class as he displayed Just Read.
“Wow!” said a handful of students while others immediately demanded answers, “Why do they have the same last name as you?”
That’s because the author of choice was Lori Degman, a retired school teacher turned children’s author who also happens to be Mr. Degman’s mother.
Lori Degman has had six children’s books published since 2010 and Mr. Degman read one to each class he stopped by.
“I’ve read that book!” shouted one student as Mr. Degman displayed 1 Zany Zoo while another whispered to a classmate “I have that book in my room” upon seeing Norbert’s Big Dream.
Not only were the students awed by the fact Mr. Degman’s mother is an author, a few mentioned they aspire to one day be authors too and were thrilled to recieve his mother’s best advice for future writers.
“You have to be able to let other people read your work and take their feedback even if it’s not what you want to hear, in order to write the best story possible."
Mr. Degman detailed the long process of getting a book published which can include finding an illustrator and an incredible amount of editing that sometimes has to be performed by loved ones.
“I edit all of her stories and give her feedback,” shared Mr. Degman, “she’ll tell you I’m the most honest and upfront about her stories.”
Mr. Degman’s personal favorite of her books happens to be Cock-A-Doodle Oops because of the countless times he’s read it to his son, something that was done so frequently that he's memorized the story from cover to cover.
After finishing his classroom visits Mr. Degman stopped by the Carpenter Learning Resource Center where he donated a copy of each of the six books.
“She loves that I’m able to do this,” said Mr. Degman, who added that before the pandemic his mom would regularly stop by schools and classrooms to read to the students herself.