During my 28 years at Sauk Rapids High School in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, I taught high school choral and musical theater. I served in almost every capacity in my local union, including three terms as president. In 1995 I was elected secretary-treasurer of Education Minnesota, and retired in 2007. Currently, I serve on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Unit Accreditation Board and the Arizona Education Association—Retired Executive Board.
What’s the best thing about retirement? Retirement allows me the time and opportunity to give back to my profession and the community. I work part-time in senior care, visiting people with dementia or other disorders. My NCATE position allows me to use my experience to give input on how colleges and universities can help teachers succeed.
I taught in Kentucky schools for over 27 years, mostly in Louisville. During that time, I taught special education and second grade before I retired in 2004. I am active in the Jefferson County Teachers Association-Retired, and serve as secretary.
How do you stay involved with youth? I spend part of the week tutoring young students in reading and math. The program really works because it’s consistent and personalized—right now, I work with the same student each week. It matches my teaching philosophy: to be a successful teacher, you have to start where the kids are.
I’ve also been volunteering with the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts for 27 years. It’s fun to talk to the patrons—I’ve met people from all over the world. Sometimes I talk with former students who are all grown up and come in to see a show with their families.
I taught high school for 31 years in Lee County, Virginia, and retired from my position as a Spanish teacher in 2009. I can’t quite let go of the school system here, so I’ve taken on a three-month subbing job and fill in as a bus driver. I was also the Lee County Education Association president for 22 years, and now serve on the retired council.
What’s been keeping you busy in retirement? When I first got involved with the LCEA, it got into my blood and I’ve kept up with it ever since. I just enjoy the camaraderie, and working in a group to preserve public education. At one point, I even got my mother involved—when I was the LCEA treasurer, I convinced her to serve as president. She taught for 48 years, with all of them except for one in a first grade classroom, and I think she enjoyed becoming involved in our union chapter. My work in the LCEA has also allowed me to travel all around the country.