PLEASANTON — Its been more than 20 years since Megan Soldati sat in her kindergarten teachers class, her hand shooting to the sky during reading time.

Today, Soldati is standing in front of her own students reading to them at the same school, where her former teacher and mentor, Heidi Deeringhoff, is now the schools principal.

Its come full circle that the two women are at the same school, Fairlands Elementary in Pleasanton, both in their first years at their new jobs — Soldati teaching kindergarten for the first time, and Deeringhoff leading the school as her first year as principal.

Soldati was in Deeringhoffs kindergarten class at Lydiksen Elementary in the district in 1998, early on in Deeringhoffs career. Now, the women are colleagues.

Soldati is the same age that Deeringhoff was when she first started teaching at the Pleasanton Unified School District 24 years ago. Deeringhoff went on to teach other grade levels, even consulted for the district for a bit, was an early intervention online coach, and in the past two years was a vice principal at both Fairlands and Mohr elementary schools.

The two kept in touch through the last 20 years — Soldati would come and visit her former teachers classrooms, at times even volunteering during her high school or college breaks.

Although Soldati always knew her life would lead her to teaching, she took a different route after graduating from college: She first went to the private sector, working for a company doing events and programming.

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Then, suddenly, she knew it was time to go where her heart was leading her for most of her life — teaching.

“I thought Now Im ready for my own classroom, Im ready for own kiddos. ” Soldati said in an interview Friday.

Although its Soldatis first teaching job at Fairlands, Deeringhoff said of her now-colleague that it doesnt seem like it at all.

“I felt like she was always destined to be a teacher,” she said. “Im so glad that we have people like Megan going into education that want to make a difference and realize the importance of connecting with her students.”

In her application for her teaching credential, Soldati wrote about the impact her beloved kindergarten teacher had on her.

“In my first year here, I hope I can be to one of my students what Ms. Deeringhoff was to me. That would be incredible,” Soldati said.

Its clear the two have had an impact on each others lives. In a joint interview over the phone, Deeringhoff said that both of them were tearing up at the comment.

Soldati has even used her own experience in Deeringhoffs kindergarten class as inspiration for her own during her first year of teaching. Shell have her students this year work on “book boxes” — decorated shoe boxes that will eventually store the childrens own boRead More – Source