Some teachers prepare to retire

Here at Leesville, a few teachers are choosing to retire after this 2010 – 2011 school year. These teachers include Dr. Dubay, Mr. Harvell, Mrs. Vetreese, and Mrs. Maxwell. Each had their own reasons for leaving and special experiences that they remember from working at the school.

Mrs. Maxwell teaches Family and Consumer Sciences, which includes apparel and housing. She’s been working here at Leesville since 1995.

“I love to see my students go on to study the same thing in college that I taught them here in my class,” she said. Several of her students have gone on to attend N.C. State’s College of Textiles, and even participated in the school’s Threads fashion show. Threads is a student sponsored fashion show that is held every year, with designer’s from the College of Textiles.

Mrs. Maxwell said that the school has gotten a lot larger since she first started working here. When asked why she was retiring, she simply smiled and said, “It’s my time to go. I’ve done my 25 years of teaching; I’m a grandma with three grandchildren and two on the way, and I just want to enjoy being with them.”

Mr. Harvell teaches the architectural drafting classes. He’s been teaching for 18 years and has been here since the school opened.

“The population of students here is something I’ve definitely seen increase over the years,” Harvell said.

One of his most exciting moments is when Leesville’s basketball team beat Broughton at Reynolds Coliseum in February of 2001. “I was so proud of them,” he reminisced. Although he isn’t a sports coach, he still considered it one of the most exciting memories he has here at Leesville.

When asked why he was retiring, his answer was similar to Maxwell’s. “It’s just time to retire. I’m retired from the Navy, and I’ve worked as a teacher for a long time. I’ll miss my students, but at the same time I’m excited. This retirement will give me an opportunity to do activities that I really enjoy, such as building things.”

Mrs. Vertreese teaches French and Spanish here at Leesville. She has taught since the school opened 18 years ago and has seen many things change here at the school.

“We used to have traditional scheduling,” she said. “I was able to teach the same class all year long and give more help to students if they needed it. About six or seven years ago we changed to block scheduling, which makes the workload heavier for the teachers.” She also noted that we use a lot more technology in schools now than we used to.

Many of her students will miss her when she leaves next year. “She has really inspired me to learn about the French language and culture,” says Nathaniel Stevens, who is in her first period class.

Mrs. Vertreese has plans for herself after her retirement. “I’ll definitely miss my involvement with the students and my colleagues. I consider this the best language department in the district and it will be sad to leave; however, this is my 36th year of teaching. I want to be able to do other things: enroll in a course of Mandarin, travel more, and maybe even do some work with Habitat for Humanity.”

Dr. Dubay has taught all levels of Earth and Environmental Science for 12 years here at Leesville. He’s witnessed many changes within the school over the years. Like the other teachers, Dubay said that the school has gotten larger, along with the population of students.

“My favorite part about teaching here is my students. It’s interesting to see how they interact with each other, and mainly I like seeing kids with a bright future ahead of them,“ he said.

He also admitted that he’s definitely going to miss his students, but has plans for himself after his retirement.

One student had nothing but positive things to say about Dr. Dubay. Abby Davis, a sophomore in his first period, talked about how she was going to miss him. “Dr. Dubay is the best,” she said. “I’ve learned so much not only about the environment, but about life as well. I’ll never forget the day he gave us candles to ‘keep our light shining’; I’m going to keep mine forever!”

Dr. Dubay has plans for himself after his retirement. “There’s other things I want to do besides teaching, so I think I’ll pursue those things after I retire since I’ll have the time. I can earn money and do other things.” Dubay says he might do some writing, or teach other teachers.

In closing, Dubay said that “overall, it’s been a wonderful twelve years. Hard in the beginning, but it’s been great fun.”

After all their years of service to Leesville Road, each of these teachers agrees that it is simply “time to retire”. They will be greatly missed, and we all wish them luck in whatever they do after their time here at Leesvile.

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