Thursday June 16, 2011
Live after Teaching
Is there life after the South Burlington School District (SBSD)? You bet there is. Nine SBSD educators who will not be returning to their positions next school year were honored at a Retirement Tea on June 6. All of them are sad to leave the District but excited about their post-SBSD lives.
Stephanie Auge was hired 17 years ago and became special education supervisor in 1995. She has served on many hiring and special education committees, and she taught the formative assessment Teacher Learning Communities (TLC). “My experience here has been very rewarding and has challenged me in many ways,” Auge says. “It has been a gift to work with this group of caring professionals and wonderful students. I will miss all of them.” Auge hopes to spend more time with her family, travel, read, and walk on the beach.
Nancy Baker first came to the F.H. Tuttle Middle School as a Speech language Pathologist in 1988. She worked elsewhere for a while, but then returned to SBHS in 1998. In 2009, she was transferred to Orchard School. She too has given generously of her time to serve on committees, and she was the SBSD liaison with Vermont’s Family, Infant & Toddler Project for many years. She counts it as a “great privilege” to have worked in every SBSD school and to have enhanced the speech, language, and communication of infants to young adults. “The children and families as well as the teachers, administrators, and support staff have taught me a great deal,” she says. Baker and her husband “hope to travel to visit our far-flung sons, bike, read, garden, cook, and generally enjoy our good fortunes.”
Dana Carlson has been involved with SBSD art education for over three decades; he became the K-12 Art Director in 1987. But Carlson’s relationship with the SBSD reaches back much further: he received his early education in SBSD schools. Carlson says that he has been affected and inspired by his students over his years of teaching: “They have consistently provided me with joy and satisfaction as I have watched them discover their inner artistic voice in my classroom. There is a certain amount of quirkiness inherent in middle school students. I think some of that has rubbed off on me over the years. Thank you, kids.” Carlson’s planned future activities include outdoor lawn work, flower gardening, photography, drawing, skiing out west, and traveling to a number of national parks, especially Yosemite. “I also have a beautiful new granddaughter living in Portland, Maine,” Carlson proudly proclaims, “so I will spend more and more time there.”
Judy Duval has been associated with the SBSD for nearly four decades. She was hired in 1973 as a consulting teacher in the elementary schools and has served on many SBSD committees. She is an invaluable member of the Chamberlin School Educational Support Team. Her “unsurpassed generosity” was lauded at the Retirement Tea. In retirement, she wants to travel and have a vegetable garden.
Karen Grace, who began her tenure as a SBHS guidance counselor in 1985, says that she has “been blessed with the opportunity to work with many dedicated and skilled colleagues, to work in a place that has continued to grow and improve over time, and to have been able to have two fresh starts every year—when the school and the calendar years begin.” She says that she will miss “the energy of being around teenagers and the relationships I have with colleagues.” With the future in mind, Grace quotes Scottish writer and explorer W.H. Murray: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.” In her retirement, Grace is committed to traveling with her partner and their two dogs, Sammy and Suki.
Judi Maynard was hired as Chamberlin School’s principal in 1994. Since then, she has served on numerous SBSD committees. She is a member of the Vermont Principals Association Executive Council and also serves on the National Math Recovery Council. In 2004, she was named Vermont’s National Distinguished Elementary Principal. Maynard says that she has “truly loved being a part of the Chamberlin School family for the past 17 years. Together, the students, staff, parents and community members have been a team on an amazing journey—complete with excitement, disappointment, challenges, and MANY successes.” In retirement, Maynard plans to heed her mother-in-law’s advice to “stop and smell the roses.” She also sees “frequent, long walks” and “a healthier diet” in her future.
Toni Schlenoff, who came to the SBSD in 2002 as a paraeducator , may not be leaving entirely—she plans to substitute-teach or tutor next year. For the last several years, she has been the assistant in the SBHS Library Annex. In her work with the SBSD, Schlenoff says that she has been “part of an environment that encourages creativity and independence; its structure does not feel ‘top-down’ and authoritarian in any way. It’s inclusive, friendly, progressive, and there is a keen sense of community of colleagues and friends. I feel supported and listened to, even at those times when my views are not totally in synch with others.” Most important to her is: “living my daily life without paying constant attention to structure, to the clock, letting things just play out.” Among her planned activities are joining a community choir again, getting back to her guitar, reading even more, taking courses at UVM, availing herself of cultural and educational events in the Burlington area, and possibly adopting another shelter pup. She will indeed be busy.
“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” Madame Ann Sorrell especially likes that B.F. Skinner quote because she feels that learning another language changes one’s life—students learn to accept other ways of thinking, acting, and engaging in life. Hired in 1971 as a French teacher at SBHS, Sorrell became the Curriculum Area Supervisor for World Languages in 2006. She has served on many committees and has been The International Exchange (TIE) Coordinator since 2004. She believes that TIE “has been the most authentic, real-life experience which has broadened students’ horizons, and has made our community’s vision be more global.” Sorrell says that if there were one thing that she could do upon her retirement, “it would be to endow the SBSD World Language Department to keep a K-12, or better yet, pre-K-12 World Language program going in perpetuity. I would make world language study mandatory for graduation at SBHS so that our future leaders are able to make sound decisions.” Sorrell and her husband will be moving to Indiana to live near their children. She will also “continue to write and to be involved in helping sensitize people to our diverse, ever-changing world.”
Last but certainly not least, John Everitt will step down from his role as SBSD Superintendent on July 1. Everitt was hired in 2007 and has been supportive of many initiatives in the District, especially in the areas of technology and inner resilience. He says that “South Burlington has a wonderful school system. The teachers and support staff are talented and dedicated, the facilities are top notch, and most importantly the young people are eager to learn. My only regret is not coming to South Burlington until so late in my career.” Everitt’s future plans include “contributing to Vermont education by working on projects that support preschool education and social-emotional learning in schools.” He is also looking forward to spending time fishing with his grandson.
Best wishes to all of our educator “graduates”: Stephanie Auge, Nancy Baker, Dana Carlson, Judy Duval, Karen Grace, Judi Maynard, Toni Schlenoff, Ann Sorrell, and, of course, John Everitt.
SOURCE: Bill Wargo, correspondent