Tracy Cressio – In The Spot Light, {the very first interview}

I wanted to start the “In the Spot Light” series a while back but I was so behind with posting and working on getting this new blog up and running. I finally had my first interview and I am very honored Tracy agreed to do this. Tracy is a long time friend who has such a BIG HEART and will do practically anything for anybody! Tracy taught me many things and one was to learn to be a better teacher to children. She knows how to practice patience, show love and give discipline all at the same time. My younger son Gabriel was a kinder back in the day when I first met Tracy. He is now a junior in high school. Tracy politely asked me several times to come out to the Williams Elementary school yard to “play with the children”. Honestly, I was intimidated! The first day I showed up I seriously didn’t think I would come back! A couple of weeks passed and I thought to myself, “If I can take care of 600+ children then I can do anything.” Tracy helped me conquer the overwhelming feeling of just being there on the yard. I’m not saying my life was ever in any danger at the time, but if one is not used to being around 600+ kids at once it can knock your socks off! The story goes on but it’s not about me. Let’s hear from the special person who makes a HUGE difference in our community!

tracy-for-web

Q. You are one of the most busiest persons I know and have the HUGEST heart when it involves children. How did that happen or have you always been that way?

Answer:
I have always loved children. They are incredible.

Honest, open, they will always make you laugh, sometimes make you cry, fun to play with, always ready for the next adventure, always a new and wonderful surprise. When Lee and I got married I wanted 20. Well I got 4, and 675 on loan five days a week. 🙂 It works, especially for Lee 🙂

Q. How do you describe what you do at Williams since the beginning? Please share your program with us.

Answer:
The Positive Solutions 4 Children© Program was born back in 1988 when I got kicked off my first yard because I didn’t have a name tag. he he. Seriously. I stepped up and in to do yard duty and was amazed. I began writing “The Best Yard”©. Then I developed a Noon League Program© teaching kids cooperative play while building self esteem and conflict management skills, added a Positive Fitness© Program, and worked out and presented a once a year “Kids Speak Out”© Conference where kids come together to speak out and make a difference in their community; identifing and dealing with bully behavior, respect & responsibility, choices and change. Next years conference is gonna be great with KSO4!

I’m pictured at the very bottom left and Tracy is to my right wearing the hat.

kso-team-web-copy

I fell in love with the kids. Kids teach us so much, but more importantly they remind us to simply live. Each day we learn and we grow. Hopefully for the better from our daily life lessons. I hope to encourage kids to reach out and do their best everyday. To take responsibility for their actions, to make good choices and learn from the speed bumps or mistakes they make in life. We all make them, it’s what you do with them after you make them. That’s the key. I want to be a positive “ripple”. I hope I succeed at least a bit. :).

Q. When are we going to see that book of yours published? You have such a great program.

Answer:

As soon as a publisher decides to take a leap of faith on me. I think it would be a great partnership and one we need out there in our schools and our communities. My programs bring people together in a positive way. Of course that’s just my opinion. 🙂

Q. With your busy schedule and so much community involvement how do you balance work, home and volunteering without losing your sanity?

Answer:

Home, work and volunteering are my sanity. Each bit keeps me feeling alive and involved in the bigger picture. 🙂 Work is an incredible blessing. I absolutely love going to work and doing what I do. Watching the kids grow. Those unbelievable ahah moments when they happen, and they do, are indescribable and priceless. Volunteering is the greatest gift that you can give. When you give the gift of your time there is nothing better and nothing more needed in our world.

Home is not always organized, not always calm and tranquil, but it is ALWAYS where I want to return to. My family is my heart and my soul. I wouldn’t be here without them. I couldn’t do what I do without them. I love them more than words can ever possibly describe.

Q. You were recently diagnosed with Cancer. Can you tell us what that meant to you? How did it affect your outlook on life and how it changed in your life? {Many people reading this will discover for the first time that you have been diagnosed.}

Answer:

This is my third issue with a “C” diagnosis. Getting the first one really threw us all. We lost a very special young man a few short years ago. My oldest sons best friend Jonathan when he was just 22 years old to a rare form of skin cancer. So when I had to tell the kids I had a skin cancer diagnosis it bought it all back hard. I am one of the lucky ones, they got it all every time. Being told you have cancer, takes your breath away those first few moments and soooo not in a good way. Then you basically have to pull up your big girl panties and say bring it on! It’s in the tough times that defines you. It’s also in the tough times you grow to realize every day is a very special and precious gift. I thought I was a pretty positive person, this just reminds me to be thankful and grateful for what I have. Lee and I have a bit of a saying during tough times (good times too) which seem alot these days. We may say it, text it, write in a note, or on the bathroom mirror (in red lipstick :), we tell each other “We are Cressio” 🙂

We will always have each other. How much more lucky can I get.

Q. Your entire family is musically and vocally talented. You can be a shy person when it comes to your talent and I had the chance to hear you sing a few times. Please share why 99.9% of Almaden residents don’t know you sing.

Answer:

Ahh! I can’t believe you asked this . 🙂 My husband and kids really are amazing. I have spent over 30 years “watching” my husband Lee play drums in different bands, even touring the west coast with Pat Travers. He is an incredible drummer and sooo much fun to watch. My sons Vince and Ron play everything from piano and sax, to guitar and drums. My daughter SamiJo was the brass section through middle school. I was to busy raising the kids, volunteering and keeping the family moving forward to even consider singing which I never even thought about. Not until a little boat trip changed my musical life forever. I am actually very shy about speaking or performing in public. In front of 1 million kids not a problem. Adults, well that’s a different pond of fish altogether. But with this band it has been a true coming together or should I say coming out. My husband as the drummer, his best friend plays guitar, my son as the bass/keyboard player, one of my very best friends as the female lead singer and me. What can I say but how cool is that! When Lee showed me our web site, all I thought was OMGosh, what have I done. But hey, we love it. And we do it together. If you like 60’s you’ll love it!

Q. Is there anything else you want to add or share?

Yes,

I want to say thank you to my amazing family and incredible friends for sticking by me and my craziness. For believing in me and what I strive to accomplish with in my life’s passion and work. I am hard to live with at times because “I don’t speak no”, but I hope they all know how much I love them and how important they are to me. Even in my most toughest life challenges, I know I can go home to those who love me, just the way I am. 🙂

I truly hope I give back, love deeply, laugh out loud (as much as possible :), and always look for the rainbow even as the drops fall, there is a rainbow and positive somewhere. Those rain drops help us grow. 🙂 It may not always be exactly what you ordered, but it will most likely be what you need. Just tweaked a bit 🙂 Life makes you strong :), get down and dirty. Live in it, not on the side lines. Come on jump in the waters fine.

And please, Come walk with me on June 27 & 28th! Be the difference.

Tracy is a member of my Relay For Life team, {Charlie’s Angels}, as well as a member of Team Colleen Stephen’s. Relay For Life will take place June 27-28 at Leland for it’s 3rd annual celebration.

{2008 RFL Team Charlie’s Angels}From L-R: Julie, Leticia, Marje, {Tracy}, Chris, Patty, Linda and me.

team-charlies-angels-2008-webcopy

Marj - June 5, 2009 - 8:41 am

Tracy looks great! You captured her true beauty. Great job!!

Charlene Chavez - June 4, 2009 - 2:29 pm

Hey Shana, you are the very first person to earn 5 points. I’m in the process of sending a newsletter out with all the details and adding the info to my blog as well. Thank you for your kind comment!

Shana - June 4, 2009 - 12:43 pm

What a great interview with a fantastic, dynamo of a woman! We should all find our inner Cressio!

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