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Cumberland NSTU local honours retiring teachers

AMHERST – Carol Ann King has lots of things to do and very little time to do them.

The Cumberland Local of the NSTU honoured its retiring teachers on Saturday. Certificates were presented to: (front, from left) Holly Faulkner, Doreen Richard, Sandra Meekins, Patricia Spicer, Judy Davis, (back, from left) Robert Beardsley, Diane Brown, Louise Cloutier, Roland Dulong, Susan Rector, Dorothy Clarke, Gary Clarke and Carol Ann King.

Only then will she think about retirement.

The longtime math teacher at the Oxford Regional Education Centre will conclude a 35-year teaching career at the end of June.

She was one of 12 teachers honoured Saturday by the Cumberland Local of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

“I don’t have time to think about it because I’m ramping up for graduation. I’m putting up all my energy into that,” King said.

King transferred her love of math from an education degree in 1979 from Mount Allison University to a teaching position in Oxford in 1980.

“The students keep me going, especially when the light comes on when they’re learning math,” she said. “It is not an easy thing to teach and they find it difficult at that level. I had to do a lot of in-service this year and spent a lot of time out of the classroom.

I said to my calculus students to do to Line 10 before I get back and they got to Line 12. I thought ‘They get it.’”

King admitted she will miss teaching math and working with her friends, but said she won’t miss the report cards and the tracking.

Louise Cloutier, who started teaching in her native Quebec, came to Pugwash District High 24 years ago. She has played a leading role in molding her students’ creativity as the head of the art program at the school.

Cloutier said 34 years of teaching is enough.

“Tonight made me feel this is real. There have been a couple of subtle reminders in the last few weeks like little gifts on my desk and tonight was wow, this is really happening,” Cloutier said. “In September I’ll probably say hooray when a bus goes by and I won’t be behind it.”

Cloutier said she will still do some private teaching in art.

She said she will miss the energy of the students the most as well as her colleagues.

“I’ll still be making making my muffins and visiting the staff room,” she said.

Roland Dulong said reality will set in this fall when he’d normally be heading back to the classroom after teaching in Yarmouth County and at Springhill Junior-Senior High.

“It’s going to be like an extension of summer vacation,” he said. “It’s going to take a bit.”

Dulong said the biggest thing he will miss is the socialization with his students and peers in the classroom. He ran the breakfast program at the school in Springhill.

“It was almost like an information desk in that you always knew what the students were up to and you always had a chance to talk to them. It was more than handing out bagels, you had a chance to answer questions,” he said.

As for achievements, Dulong said for all teachers it’s when they meet students years after they graduated and discover what careers they’re in and how they’ve done since they left school.

“Those are the achievements,” he said.

Others honoured included: Stephen Blum from ARHS, Sandra Meekins from Junction Road Elementary in Springhill, Robert Beadsley at River Hebert District School, Patricia Spicer of Advocate District School, Judy Davis from Oxford Regional Education Centre, Holly Faulkner from ARHS, Dorothy Clarke from Junction Road Elementary, Doreen Richard from Cumberland North Academy, Diane Brown from Northport Elementary, Dan Calder from Springhill High, Curtis Shanks from Cyrus Eaton Elementary in Pugwash and Susan Rector from Spring Street Academy.

Also recognized was retiring CCRSB superintendent Gary Clarke, who taught in Cumberland County before going into administration.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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