Cordova High teacher refused to become 'a statistic'

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 8/19/17

Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series on Cordova High School’s faculty members.

CORDOVA — Kayla Belser has had an inspirational quote written on the board in her science classroom since May: “Life is 10 percent what …

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Cordova High teacher refused to become 'a statistic'

Posted

Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series on Cordova High School’s faculty members.

CORDOVA — Kayla Belser has had an inspirational quote written on the board in her science classroom since May: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”

On Monday, Belser told Cordova High School students that they can’t control the hand they’ve been dealt in life, but they can control how they play it.

“You really don’t have a lot of control over what happens to you. We can plan and plan, and we do have to plan for success, but we have to understand that in life there are things beyond our control. All we can do is regroup and respond,” she said during an assembly program that kicked off a year of “no excuses” at CHS.

Belser was born to teenage parents.

Her father was absent, and her mother was a senior at Cordova High School the year that she started kindergarten.

Belser was raised by her grandmother after her mother graduated as valedictorian of the CHS class of 1994 and left for college.

When Belser was in the fourth grade, her mother received her bachelor’s degree and gave a speech at her college graduation.

“My mother could have easily been a statistic. She could have said, ‘I had a kid. I messed up my life. I’m not going to do anything else.’ But she didn’t,” Belser said.

Belser also told students how she found her own inner strength after struggling during the years that her mother was away at college.

Like her mother, Belser was active in athletics at CHS, graduated and went on to college. She has two degrees to her credit and is currently working on a third.

“We all have that picture-perfect life that we think of with two parents in the home, and that’s what we think we have to come from to be successful. You don’t, but you do have to let the experiences that you have motivate you. Be determined that regardless of what you have to face every day that you’re going to come in here and put your best foot forward. You can do whatever it is that you want to do, but you have to fight,” Belser said.

Belser was one of three CHS faculty members who shared their stories during an assembly program on the first day of school.

Principal Kathy Vintson told students that she wanted them to see what is possible when they commit themselves to living a life of no excuses.

“I really feel like what is holding Cordova High School back is your circumstances. It’s time to start fighting and overcome those,” Vintson said.