Monday, May 18, 2015

Forty-Four Years of Memories!

In forty-three days, I will end my forty-four years as a public school educator (June 30).   Although I have not written much on this blog for quite some time, I am going to try to write something each day of my many wonderful memories of an incredible career.  (Note--somehow I forgot to include my last year when I started these posts so it was actually forty four years.  I figured that out one day about a year later when I was walking.  So I added a post that day to make up for it.   I think that somehow because my last year was a bit stressful, I blocked it out!)

When I started ASU in 1967, I truly didn't know what I wanted to major in.    It seemed at the time that most women majored in either education or nursing.  I don't like blood or vomit, so nursing was never an option!!!   I started out in business, but that wasn't really what I wanted to do.  After trying a couple of other majors, I decided to major in special education.   At the time, it was a double major in special ed and in elementary education.   I was able to graduate in four years despite changing my major a few times.  

I did my student teaching in first grade in the Balsz School District for half a semester and then in special education in the Roosevelt District for the second half of the semester.  Both were incredible experiences.

My first offer was from Gilbert and I signed on the "dotted line" immediately  (more about that later)!  It was to teach 8th grade special education at Gilbert Junior High.

I have often thought about my career and would I have done something else--maybe something like law.   However, I have never one time regretted my decision to become an educator.   I have had an amazing career and I have been blessed to have so many wonderful people who have touched my life in so many ways.   I would not change any part of this incredible journey!!!   

I taught special education for six years and then 11 years in elementary school for a total of 17 years in the classroom.   I spent one year at the District office as the interim Director of Personnel for GPS and then 20 years as the principal of Gilbert Elementary School--the best job in the whole world.  For the last five years, I have been the Superintendent of the Douglas Unified School District.  So I have seen public education at every level.

As these last 43 days wind down, it is bitter sweet.     I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life, but have many mixed emotions because my career has been so important to me and I feel as though I have been able to make a difference.   My dear friend, Wally Delecki, says that when he retired as Superintendent and went to work for NAU that he was recycling.   I love that!!!  One of our consultants told me that when he retired as an assistant superintendent, that he considers himself a "recovering superintendent" and I love this too as it is so true.  So as I look forward to whatever might bring me in the days, weeks and months ahead, I have to think that I will be recycling as a recovering superintendent!!!!

It has been a great ride and I have so many wonderful memories of the fellow educators, children, parents and families who have touched my heart and I hope to share 42 more!!

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