Edmond school's educators retire with more than 100 years of experience

BY NASREEN IQBAL Niqbal@opubco.com Published: May 1, 2013

“He was a hardworking man,” Paine said.

Paine, who has taught for 22 years, said she tries to impart to her students the lessons of hard work that her father gave her.

“When they learn about these heroes who didn't start out with a silver spoon in their mouth and had to instead overcome many obstacles, I want them to learn about the self-pride that comes with that,” she said.

Her parent's pictures hang on her classroom wall.

Paine said her mother put her family's needs ahead of her own. After retiring, Paine plans to spend time with her husband, children, grandchildren and her mother, who lives in an assisted living facility.

Making an impact

Thorpe said she feels blessed to know she has made an impact on the lives of students.

“At their age they are just beginning to learn how to treat people and how to communicate. This is where their foundation comes from,” the retiring counselor said.

She said the best rewards are the thank-yous she gets from past students.

“To see that they've solved a conflict on the playground or even at home with a sibling because of something I've told them just warms my heart,” she said.

Thorpe has been in the education system 22 years and said her family will celebrate her retirement by taking a summer trip to California.

Powell has served as an administrative intern, teacher, assistant principal and principal during the many years he spent in education. He earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Kansas State University and a master's degree in education administration.

“I've been here long enough that I'm the principal of children whose parents were my students,” he said. “It's a hoot.”

Powell said education has been such an influence in his life that he named his dog after President Harry Truman, who said, “The buck stops here.”

“That's how I feel as principal sometimes,” Powell said with a laugh.

He said his goal as principal has been to make a school feel welcoming.

“If these guys can say that they've loved their time here, then I feel successful,” he said.

Powell said Northern Hills Assistant Principal Teri Cowden-Draper will take over as principal at Clegern in the fall.