Saying farewell to a friend and colleague is never easy.

I taught middle school for thirty years, in the same school district, and worked with many of the same educators during that time. We had our children, furthered our degrees, and shared our triumphs and concerns while doing so. I was part of a special group of teachers, in that we shared a longevity and bond for the duration of our careers.

We often get together now and reminisce.

I don’t know that educators stay in the same job, or in the same place for as long as we have. We were, and are like family.

When one of us leaves, it’s a big deal!

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And so it was last week that we said goodbye to a fellow teacher and friend we’ve worked beside and who taught many of our own children.

Shirley Smith will be missed!

She’s starting a new venture with her husband, Jerry, as they move to a new location and begin a new career, growing almonds.


Shirley represents the best in education, and certainly best in the human race.

 She doesn’t draw attention to herself, but shines when it comes to working and teaching her students. My son, and I’m sure many who read this blog, had Mrs. Smith as a teacher.



As most teachers know, we love to get together, especially if there is food involved. Our fellow colleague and friend, Linda Benninga opened her home for our special send off for Mrs. Smith, AKA Shirley.

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More than anything, it reaffirmed our respect, love, and friendship for this fellow teacher, who has left her mark in our school district, and our lives.


I’m sure I speak for all who know Shirley when I say… “Well done, and thank you for sharing your love and talent for teaching with so many of our youth!”

Send some pecans up our way when you have the chance.


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