Not every teacher can boast they had a hand in teaching one of the nation's top leaders, but Sylvia Harney is one of them. She was one of Vice President Dick Cheney's kindergarten teachers from 1946 to 1947 at College U. School, now known as Calvert Elementary.
Harney says Vice President Cheney was a natural leader, even at the age of six. He was sharp, bright, and a team player. She has several stories she likes to tell about him. One afternoon while she was ready to instruct the class, there was an unplanned fire drill. Students scrambled to leave the building, but Dick calmly opened the door for people and fell into the line when a spot opened up. When they came back to class, he helped Sylvia find the spot she had left off in the book. "I was glad because I probably wouldn't have been able to find it as quickly as he did," she admits.
On another day, one boy kicked over another boy's fort he had built. Instead of a fight breaking out, Cheney calmed things down by offering to help the boy rebuild his fort.
Sylvia met Cheney again in 1992 when he was in Lincoln accepting an award, but that was before he was the Vice President. She is anxious to see him again at the Jeff Fortenberry Fund Raiser Breakfast so she can talk to him about current events.
"I feel very confident in his decisions," Sylvia proclaims. She trusts the judgment and character of a boy she once helped learn to read.