Last week I retired from a 30 year career in education. I started out as a kindergarten teacher in Selah, WA in 1975. Over the years I have taught grades kindergarten through 4th. I’ve been a reading specialist, helping kids who struggled to decipher meaning in print. I later became a reading coach whose job it was to create systems and structures to support teachers as they implemented research based instruction in reading. When I retired I was doing similar work in the field a mathematics. I’ve taught in 4 different cities, some rural and some more urban, as well as in a tribal school for the Nisqually Indian Nation. I have been enriched by each of these experiences, but my heart will always be at Lincoln Elementary School in Toppenish, WA. I taught and later was a reading coach there for more than 20 years. Many of the teachers at Lincoln Elementary School are like family to me. We raised our kids together; watched those kids become adults and go off to make their own lives. We’ve laughed together and held each other through the tears. I would not be who I am today, professionally or personally if it weren’t for those precious friendships I made at Lincoln school.
Five years ago my husband and I moved away from the Yakima Valley and away from Lincoln School. It was the right move for many reasons, but it was also unbelieveably painful for me to leave Lincoln. Today I received a retirement card in the mail, signed by the staff of Lincoln School. Even though I’ve been gone for five years, they still sent me a card. I can’t begin to say how much this meant to me. My heart was so touched; I cried. I have been abundantly blessed to work with people who nurtured me and helped me to grow, people who cared and believed in me. My life has been rich indeed.