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Giant crop maze honors Caeleb Dressel, his Clay High math teacher

When Caeleb Dressel was in school at Clay High, his mentor, Claire McCool was a math teacher. She was so influential to Dressel that he called her "Mama."

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Amazing Grace Family Farms wrote on its Facebook page, "Congratulations Caeleb! Clay County is proud of you!  Thank you, Caeleb, for being a role model in and out of the pool."

The giant crop maze is super cool to see, no doubt.

But there's a terrific story behind it.  Part of the proceeds will go towards the Claire McCool Memorial Scholarship for a very special reason. 

Dressel's role model at Clay High was his math teacher, Claire McCool.  Dressel called her, "Mama," as many students did.

The beloved math teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer, and despite a spirited fight, passed away in 2017.

It hit Dressel hard.  He had done his best to keep up her spirits, even writing her notes and sending her a special message.

That message was actually written on his cheek at the NCAA National Championships. Dressel made headlines then for becoming the fastest human in American history in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle.

Credit: AP Clay High teacher Ms. McCool honored by Caeleb Dressel

First Coast News talked with Ms. McCool after she watched Dressel race on TV. She said seeing it made her cry.

"After the race, when he called me, he said, Mama, this one's for you," she said. 

Ms. McCool recorded special messages for Dressel to watch when he was swimming at his first Olympics. At her home, she was cheering him on.

Credit: Caeleb Dressel's teacher, Claire McCool

Now she must be so proud looking down on Dressel, as he won five gold medals and set more records in Tokyo.

Credit: FCN- Caeleb Dressel at Clay High with teacher Ms. McCool

The two-time Olympian has a family with deep roots in Clay County. The Amazing Grace Family Farms post says, "Teachers like Mrs. McCool, schools like Clay High, and families like the Dressels are what make Clay County such a special place and a wonderful community." 

The Amazing Grace Family Farms is at 2899 Wisteria Farm Rd., Green Cove Springs, FL. 

Credit: AP
Gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, of United States, places his hand on his chest while listening the national anthem during a victory ceremony for the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)