Michael Brings Apprentice Turned Author to Crestview

It’s all in the name. When Michael McNamara’s mom, Stephanie, heard The Apprentice Season 3 star and local entrepreneur Tana Goertz was looking for a child named Michael to give a prize to, she immediately responded to the Facebook post.

Tana had donated a book presentation to help raise money at a charity event.  Since the woman who won the prize didn’t have any children, she told Tana that she would like her to pick what school to do the book presentation at.

Tana had recently heard a news story about Michael Garcia, a waiter who stood up for his five-year-old friend with Down’s syndrome. When people at an adjacent table made rude remarks about the boy, Michael refused to serve them and was backed up by the restaurant owner, who asked them to leave.

“I decided to put out on Facebook that I was looking for a kid named Michael or a mother or father who has a child named Michael,” said Goertz. “All of a sudden, Stephanie McNamara commented that she had a son named Michael and he is the reason I’m here.”

Rather than only doing the presentation for Michael’s class, his mother, who is a first grade teacher at Crestview, and his teacher, Sandy Thurston,  wanted to share it with the entire school.

“I was very excited, both as a mother and as a teacher, to have this opportunity for Crestview,” said McNamara. “ Meeting an author is an exciting experience for all children, and Tana’s message was wonderful.   It was extremely kind of her to extend her presentation to all of the students at Crestview.”

Students listened intently as Goertz read her book, “I’m Bigger Than This,” featuring Finny the fish. Finny is a goldfish who likes to pretend he is a shark. She then talked to the students about being their true selves and embracing what makes them different before answering questions from the kids. Her read and learns help teach students how to increase their self-esteem, self-control and self-confidence.

“It was really cool to meet a real author,” Michael said. “I liked her book a lot!”

Tana’s book made a big impression on her The Apprentice Season 3 boss, Donald Trump, too.

“When I was on the Today Show with the book, Donald Trump said, ‘it’s a self-help book for kids and there’s not a lot of self-help books for kids.’” Goertz remembers. “He said that every teaching professional should have a copy, every library should have a copy.”

“I’m just trying to get across the messages of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-love.”

For more information on Tana go to www.heytana.com.