I always had an inner drive to become a school teacher. I was not able to enter college, though, until I was in my mid-30s. Our youngest son had a lot of health problems as he was growing up, accompanied with severe learning problems. I became familiar with IEPs long before entering the classroom. It took a while to complete my teaching degree once I began. At one point, I had to quit college for a long while and return when his health issues improved.
The friends I met in college went on and successfully secured teaching positions. When I returned to complete my degree, teaching jobs were harder to find. It seemed no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find a position.
I decided to work on my master's in school counseling. Once I completed my master's, I still couldn't find a teaching position, so I turned to a mental health facility for a while and, finally, a nursing home.
I learned through a friend that a teaching position would soon be available at Holy Trinity School. I applied and was overjoyed when I got a phone call letting me know that I was hired. All my life I had heard negative things about Catholic people and their beliefs, and now Catholic people wanted me to be their teacher. They were willing to take me in and give me the opportunity that I had long prayed for. Sister Mary Claire, Sister Mary Sebastien and Sister Janet Marie were most helpful and kind.
I was blessed to have Sister Mary Claire as my resource teacher during my internship. Sister Mary Claire had taught over 40 years and she knew her stuff. She spent every required minute with me, no more and no less. Sister Mary Claire took her responsibility as my resource teacher very seriously. She used the time required for the internship to make sure "all" requirements of K-Tip were fulfilled. Lesson plans came easy since I had become familiar with the core content and writing lesson plans while in college. Sister Mary Claire was familiar with internship for new teachers. She had been a resource teacher before. I learned so much from Sister Mary Claire. I have talked to many teachers who said they barely saw their resource teacher during their internship. I was so blessed to have had a wonderful person like Sister Mary Claire. I will always be grateful to her. I arose many mornings early to prepare for the day. I had two grades to teach, and the last year I taught grades 3, 4 and 5. It took lengthy preparations to have lessons and materials needed to teach those lessons. I always gave it my all, even if it meant rising early and leaving the school late.
We were all "family" at HTS. I tremendously enjoyed the time that I spent with my students, and parents, grandparents, teachers, our secretary, our cook, etc. I will never forget the day that I received a nice compliment from our head teacher, Cathy Jones. She commented on how well-prepared students were who came from my classroom. That was a great feeling, to have such an excellent teacher informing me that I was doing a good job. That truly meant a lot. I looked up to Cathy Jones with great admiration. She is a true professional in the very best sense of the word.
I have also worked a great deal in the public schools as well and with wonderful people. I feel blessed to have been privileged to do so. I also give credit to my success to Shelby Henegar. I did my student teaching under the direction of Mrs. Henegar. I learned so much about meeting the demands in a diverse classroom. There is one more person whom I would like to give credit to, Casey White Pugh. I did 420 practicum hours under her direction. This particular training was most helpful in the classroom.
I have been told by parents and through various people that my former students went on after the closing of our school and did quite well. I was so happy to hear that. I know students from other classrooms at HTS did well also.
My time teaching at HTS remains one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my entire life. I have always felt if we had been given just one more year, we possibly could have turned things around and saved our school. Our community suffered a tremendous loss by the closing of HTS. It will be missed by many for a long time to come.