Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Parent of the Year!
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Friday, October 09, 2009

Greg and Debby gave a gracious combined speech last night as they accepted the Allegheny County Court Parent-of-the-Year award. Debby read the actual letter that she read in Judge Borkowski's Court room two years ago and Greg waxed eloquent about their committment to continue to do the right thing by their Son and to continue to attend PSST to reach out to less experienced parents.

Greg spoke about he and Debby took home somethings that were helpful from the very firts PSST two years ago; and how some of things learned at PSST took longer for them to come around to trying. Debby spoke about how difficult it was to read that letter in Court because she knew that her son was right there listening. As it turned out, he wasn't paying attention as his drug problem was a bit to active for him to pay close attention. It may also be that their son, like so many of our teenagers, was just used to tuning out parents.

Greg also spoke about how important it is for both of them to give back to the PSST something of what they have learned. He mentioned that shen they first started coming around to PSST there were other more experienced parents that reached out to them and he emphasized that having those veteran parents in the group who had walked down a similar road and often had seen huge turn arounds in their teenagers really gave them hope at a time when things seems so hopeless.

Debby and Greg were always the kind of parents who were willing to do the heavy lifting. They drug tested several times a week. They came to a lot of PSST. They met with the PO and with the school officials as needed. And they worked with Wesley Spectrum Family Therapy on an on goign basis. In fact, Kathy Tagmyer, who unfortunaely was ill last night, had helped to write the nonimation and of course she was as proud of Greg and Debby as any of us were.

Their son now has over two years clean and a high school diploma. He is looking for employment now and soon will also be looking into furthering his education. If any readers can offer any job leads for Greg and Debby's son please email lloyd.woodward@court.allegheny.pa.us or leave a comment here with your email. He is a hardworking young man who, with the help of his parents, has learned how to wake up early every monning and get about having a productive day.

Joe Bellante author Left For Dead was a guest speaker and you can see him pictured above with Debby and Greg. Also, the first picture above from left to right is Judge Wecht, Judge McVay, Judge Hans Greco, Judge Clark, Greg, Debby, Lloyd, Jim Rieland, Director of Adult and Juvenile Probation Departments. The picture on the bottom right from left to right is Lloyd Woodward, Valerie Ketter, Debby and Greg McClemens.


Lloyd Woodward said...

I spoke to Debby and Greg's son today on the phone. He gave me permission to write this:

He said that things at home go much smoother now; in particular, he finds his parents are much quicker to address problems. Things are handled right away instead of lingering. He said that they don't talk issues over and over and over and that he makes it easier for him because he couldn't stand that. So now, instead his parents just address things right away with less talk, and more action. He admitted that he likes things better now although sometimes he still wishes he could just get them all upset and create chaos like he used to do. Mostly though, he likes the changes.

You know, it sounded like you two are getting some respect and boy 9you've earned it. Keep it up you guys. You've done a great job and your son would not be clean with a high school diploma except for the your interventions. You both are my heroes.

Anonymous said...

We appreciate the honor of this award, nevertheless had it not been for the support of Lloyd, Valerie, our dedicated family therapist, Kathie and all the parents new and "seasoned" our journey would have been so much more difficult. While this is an exhausting road, parents must take hold of the power and keep it. This group is powerful and all of you are my heroes! Thanks again, Debby

Ken Sutton said...

You guys did great. You stayed in the game and fought for your son's life. Way to go. Congratulations on the award.

Mary said...

Congratulations to both of you & you both DESERVE this award. Keep up the fantastic work...You inspire many parents to follow in your footsteps...


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