Owasso Teacher Recovers From Crash, Thanks Students

Monday, March 16th 2009, 5:36 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, News On 6

OWASSO, OK -- An Owasso vocal music teacher is saying thank you to his students after being seriously injured in a wreck. Mike Shimp, a 6th grade teacher, is back in the classroom now after the terrible wreck in November.

He found a special way to say thank you to all the students for their support during his recovery.

The Owasso 6th grade talent show was an opportunity for students to hit the stage and shine in the spotlight, but the act everyone in the crowd couldn't wait to see was Mike Shimp's.

He wasn't going to perform a skit or a comedy routine. Instead, he sang for the kids.

To understand why a teacher is going to sing at a student talent show, you have to know what Mr. Shimp has been through.

In November, a car without its headlights on crossed several lanes and hit him head on. Shimp had a broken elbow, wrist, kneecap, ankles, a lacerated spleen and nerve damage.

Through the pain, surgeries and time off work, the hardest part was not being able to play with his son. And for a man who loves music, and loves teaching it, he missed his students.

"With the kids, they make my job easy. They make it fun," said Mike Shimp.

The students made Shimp's recovery easier. Students sent hundreds of cards, many of them from students who aren't even in his class.

12/3/2008  Related Story: Students Helping Owasso Teacher Hurt In Crash

Back at school, Shimp said it was time for him to sing to them.

"If we get a petition can, will you sing at our talent show? Fifty signatures and I'll think about it, 350 later I guess I'll do it," said Shimp. "I was trying to find a way to say thank you. That was one of the easiest ways. The best way, and for me the most emotional way, is by song."

That time came on the stage at the 6th grade talent show. Shimp says he was overwhelmed by the student's support.

"It's something you can always think back to. It's always something that just really warms and touches you. That was the coolest thing to me, is that these kids did this," said Shimp.

Doctors weren't sure if he would ever be able to play the piano again, but he's back in the classroom and recovering. Mr. Shimp says what happened to him is now less about the wreck, and more about the kindness it prompted.

It's support he'll remember for the rest of his life.