Illustration for article titled Oprah Winfrey Surprised Ron Clark Academy Educators With a Guest Appearance in Their Online Conference Call
Screenshot: WSB-TV 2

Imagine being in an online meeting with colleagues and other professionals and not expecting anything spectacular to happen during this meeting of minds when suddenly, BOOM—Oprah Winfrey appears on your screen with words of encouragement. This was what educators for Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy experienced during a conference call on Friday.

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WSV-TV 2 reports that nearly 18,000 people joined the Ron Clark Academy Facebook Live session hosted by the school’s founder, Ron Clark. It was a meeting for teachers and homeschooling parents to build together, advise each other and sharpen each other’s skillset as educators and to give tips on adjusting to conditions under the coronavirus pandemic. A few minutes into the meeting, Clark introduced his special guest.

“I love teachers, and I think throughout the world a lot of people are appreciating teachers differently now than ever before,” Winfrey said to thousands of surprised listeners. “Because they’re having to sit at home and do it themselves, they recognize what you have been doing all along.”

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Winfrey also shared a story about one of her teachers who she credits with being the first to recognize her potential.

“A teacher saved my life, Mrs. Duncan in the fourth grade ... she was the first person I thought really saw me, and I can tell that you’re doing the same thing with your students,” Winfrey said.

Winfrey touched educators with words of praise saying, “I just continue to applaud outstanding, extraordinary, magnified, and magnificent work that you do at RCA.”

This isn’t the first time Oprah has blessed Ron Clark Academy. In 2017, she donated $5 million to the school, which is nearly 94 percent black, during its 10-year anniversary celebration.

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“I love this school!” Winfrey said at the time. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years. I was here for the first graduation. I wanted to be here to actually mark this moment in time. What it takes to build a school over 10 years, I know.”

Winfrey left Friday’s online meeting saying, “God bless all the teachers.”

Well, God bless you too, Ms. Winfrey.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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