“Be kind and good to people. Always do what’s respectful. It brings you rewards,” says Dr. Geraldine ‘Gerry’ Haller, a former beloved and celebrated CPS teacher and principal turned author. These are the words that guided her throughout her career and now, into retirement.
Gerry’s career with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) spanned 41 years. She has received awards in the teaching, curriculum, and administrative fields, including being recognized with a Golden Apple award for teaching, by The Carnegie Foundation for her teaching work in the inner city of Chicago, and receiving the Phi Delta Kappa Award for Outstanding Principal of the Year.
Upon retirement, Gerry was invited by The Board of Education to consult with CPS teachers and principals. CPS recognized her talent in the classroom and asked her to impart her wisdom about teaching students with her unique way of teaching curriculum which she reports, “has proven successful as she took her school from #25 to #1 in five years.” As a proud wife, mother, and grandmother, Gerry also focused her energy on spending time with her family. She could be found cheering on grandchildren at hockey games or reading to them at bedtime on a Saturday night.
It was during these special family moments that her first children’s picture book became a reality. When it was time to go to bed, Gerry would read her grandchildren a story, but one night, she made one up instead. It was this story that became the book “Will’s Adventure to the Candy Mountain.” Gerry states, “I first created this story based on my grandson Will’s feeling that all children in the world should hear this story. I would tell my grandsons stories at bedtime and with the encouragement of Will I decided to write a book based on their favorite story so children everywhere could also read about this very exciting fantasy that will touch their hearts forever.” The book reminds children that good things come to those who are respectful and considerate. Gerry used the story to emphasize the importance of being a good and respectful person as she feels that is something that is needed in the world today.
Gerry’s writing continues to provide her with an outlet for her creativity, emotion, and passion for creating a better world, but also serves as a gift and reminder to others to “stay positive and (be)do better.” Gerry’s retirement journey continues as she is working on her second book, “That’s What You Do When You Love Your Brother.” The inspiration came from the relationship between her late son and his brother. She has also started a book company, Children Are Special Press LLC.
To learn more about Gerry and her writing visit, www.DrHallerStories.com.