By LARISSA COPELAND
When Mustang kindergarten teacher Davette Ravencraft went to the state Capitol last month to participate in a teacher walkout, she had mixed feelings.
“If we didn’t do something, nothing was going to get done,” she said. “They’ve promised and promised, and we’ve believed and believed, but nothing has ever happened.”
Ravencraft, now in her 38th year of teaching at Mustang Valley, is her school’s building representative, and as such she spent each day of the walkout at the Capitol.
“It was difficult, because this is a really important time for our kids, and we need to be there with them, and they need to be learning,” she said. “To walk away from them was hard.”
What Ravencraft didn’t expect was to find on April 9 was a familiar face, when the “Women in Black” descended upon the Capitol.
The “Women in Black” was a group of more than 100 women attorneys who traveled to the Capitol in an effort to help find a solution and end the walkout.
The attorneys walked from the Oklahoma Bar Association headquarters to the state Capitol, each dressed in black.
“When they showed up, they came marching down the street and came into the building,” Ravencraft said. “It was exciting. They all kind of went in different directions, and I just decided I was going to find out what they were up to and what they were asking and what they were doing to try and help us.”
Ravencraft found Heather Rohlmeier, an Oklahoma City-based attorney, leaving a lawmaker’s office and struck up a conversation.
“We talked about several different pieces of legislation that we’ve been trying to get them to talk about,” Ravencraft said. “I asked her opinion, and she said she thought they were valid things we were trying to ask for.”
But throughout the conversation, the attorney repeatedly mentioned that Ravencraft looked familiar.
“As we talked for a little bit, she asked what district I was from, and I told her Mustang,” Ravencraft said. “She said, ‘Oh, really? What school?’”
When Ravencraft told Rohlmeier her name, it clicked.
“She said, ‘Oh my gosh, you were my kindergarten teacher,’” Ravencraft said. “She was telling everyone, ‘This is my kindergarten teacher.’”
Rohlmeier said she remembers Ravencraft as one of her favorite teachers, and was glad to see her again.
“It was great,” Rohlmeier said. “I knew that she was really passionate and very well informed, and I knew I recognized her, but I was just so excited and surprised when I realized it was her.”
Ravencraft echoed Rohlmeier’s feelings.
“I was really excited because she was a precious little student. She was just wonderful,” Ravencraft said. “It makes you proud to know you had a little bit of input in that.”