Diamonds in the Tough Series
Roni stared up into the deep brown eyes of the medic.
Since when did the mere sight of a mature male make her lose her focus?
Special education teacher Veronica Bagedonas is passionate about her work with behavior-disordered children. Teaching is her life, but nothing could prepare her for the shock of her class list this year, which includes two students infamous for reducing seasoned teachers in the Chicago Public School system to incoherent babbling. It doesn’t help, either, that Sunny, her new “Barbie doll” teacher’s assistant, is an everyday reminder of all Roni lacks. By the age of thirty-two, her hope of marriage has vanished. So why then does she find herself unsettled whenever Joe, the medic, is around school?
Joe Milanovich, the school liaison for the fire department, is intrigued by the jaunty, gutsy “Miss Bee.” But the pain of his if onlys never seems to leave his heart, driving away any potential relationship. It’s been three years since the tragedy, but the event is still imprinted on his mind like it was yesterday. If only his tour of duty had been one month shorter, maybe his mother and brother would still be alive….
As Joe and Roni navigate the tough urban school, dangerous neighborhood, and their own scars, might their longing for acceptance and home be met…in each other?
Diamonds in the Tough Series
He was tall and lean, even with a bulletproof vest under his shirt.
Zoey peered up into eyes as blue as Lake Michigan on a summer afternoon.
Zoey Pappas grew up in a one-stoplight farm town. Now she’s landed her dream job as the fifth-grade teacher at the urban Diamond Projects School, but can she handle it? Zoey knows her cows, but she’s never dealt with students from drug-infested, crime-ridden communities. Her Greek family wants her to stay home and earn her M.R.S. degree, but Zoey is determined to prove herself. The muscled Irish cop who’s been assigned to work with her as the Drug Awareness teacher isn’t helping matters either. He’s too efficient, too cocky, and too…handsome.
Ever since Officer Gavin Corrigan pulled Zoey’s car over on her first day of school for driving the wrong way on a one-way street in a neighborhood known for violence, he’s been captivated by her. But so much—too much?—stands in the way, including the heavy weight of his difficult family and the secret blame he carries.
As the two are thrust together in the concrete jungle, where everyone needs second chances, will Zoey and Gavin find their own second chances…together?
Finding the potential in problematic students is challenging regardless of the setting, be it public school, private school, church clubs, youth groups, or Sunday school. Through illustrative episodes drawn from her teaching experiences, Lampos recreates the struggles, triumphs, and heartbreaks inherent in education. Undergirded with the belief that even the most incorrigible child can change if given affection, attention, and guidance, the author inspires educators with story, Scripture, quotes, and a suggested action plan.
The challenge, according to Lampos, is to look beyond the rough exteriors of a student’s attitude and behavior to their inner needs. Underneath may be a true Diamond in the Tough.