Travis Buckneberg was a kindergarten student of Mrs. Correne Gordon in 1997. He remembers that she would draw the straight lines on the green chalk board to show the class how to write their letters. That chalk board remained in her classroom every year that Travis went back to visit — which happened to be every Christmas for fourteen years.
Travis so appreciated his kindergarten teacher that he brought her a gift every year, first grade through college. Mrs. Gordon passed away in January of 2012 when Travis was a sophomore at college. Since then Travis has donated a gift to Marne Strasser’s kindergarten class in Mrs. Gordon’s honor.
“It was just little things like candles or soap,” Travis said, “Things I would remind mom to buy or it was homemade.”
His gifts were well-known through the years said fellow kindergarten teacher, Marne Strasser.
The December after Mrs. Gordon passed away, Travis came to the school knocking on Mrs. Strasser’s kindergarten door.
“He donates books, crafts, toys or games in memory of Correne,” Mrs. Strasser said, clearly moved by the gesture.
Travis said the memory he savors the most of his kindergarten teacher is when he would come back year after year.
“It was how happy she was to see me,” he said, “She’d smile and give me a hug.”
Travis was at Mrs. Strasser’s kindergarten class on December 19, 2019. This year, Mrs. Gordon’s daughter Lesley Gordon was there to open the gifts given in honor of her late mother.
Travis said Mrs. Gordon had such an impact on him because, “She reminded me I could do anything.”
Travis now lives in New Mexico and is an underground engineer; he always makes it back to Lennox during Christmas to visit his family.
Mrs. Gordon started teaching first grade in Montrose where she taught for two years before taking a job in Lennox. She taught in Lennox until her retirement in May of 2010.