Article by Ethan Granniss
Of the millions of teachers around the world, there is a small percentage who finish their career of inspiring thousands of lives. In a 2015 study, it was found that 75,000 teachers had retired out of 3.4 million teachers worldwide (source: teacherpensions.org). In the Flippin School District, the teachers who are retiring at the end of the 2018-19 school year have taught over a total of 75 years combined.
Mrs. Lisa Thompson has taught a total of 31 years in her career. She says she has taught twenty-three years at Flippin Middle School. “In my career I have taught language arts in grades four, six, seven, and eight. I have taught English in grades ten, eleven, and twelve.
I have taught speech in high school where I also taught journalism and put out a high school newspaper”, she said. English wasn’t the only language she taught to students. She has also taught German by Satellite to high school students. She says that “New teachers should know that teaching is a calling, and if it isn’t, it will be impossible to survive an entire career in the classroom.”
(Left) Mrs. Thompson in the 2000 edition of the Flippin yearbook. (Right) Mrs. Thompson in the 2019 edition of the Flippin yearbook.
Mrs. Donna Due is third grade teacher retiring this year. She has taught kindergarten for one year and has taught third grade as a certified teacher for 26 years. “A special memory that I won't forget is the first day of school each year. The students are so excited when they arrive
to see their new classroom, their old friends, and their new teacher. They are dressed in their new clothes, have their new supplies, and are ready to start their third grade adventure. It's just a happy day for everyone. The first day that stood out the most was the first day in our new elementary building. We love our school!” She wants to tell new teachers that when you get discouraged, remind yourself that you are making a difference in these kids' lives. Focus on your success stories. There will be so many. Write down funny stories and special moments. Also, you are going to be working with an awesome group of people, so ask for help. Don't try to do this on your own.”
(Left) Mrs. Due in the 1996 edition of the Flippin yearbook. (Right) Mrs. Due in the 2019 edition of the Flippin yearbook.
Mrs. Shelly Diffey has also been a third grade teacher at Flippin Elementary School for 26 years in her teaching career. One of her favorite memories of being a teacher has been moving into the new elementary school, Flippin School District’s newest building. Many things stand out the most to Mrs. Diffey, as she says “what stands out to me is the love and compassion between the teachers and students and also between the teachers, staff and faculty. We truly care about each other, and you see that everyday.” Her advice to new teachers starting their career is to “build those relationships with your students. Take pictures and talk to them constantly. Most importantly, enjoy your time with them. It goes by so fast!”
(Left) Mrs. Diffey in the 1996 edition of the Flippin yearbook. (Right) Mrs. Diffey in the 2019 edition of the Flippin yearbook.
Over 75 years of teaching has been taught throughout the careers of these teachers. 50 years of new students, new experiences, new bonds and relationships with students, and even a new school. Inspiration has been sparked in all of our lives because of teachers. We will never forget why they taught us as elementary and middle school students, but most importantly, we will never forget what they taught us.
Other retirees this year are Mrs. Coyla Hudson (46 years of service) and Mrs. Vickey Hudson (30 years of service).
Thank you to all of the teachers who have inspired students to do their best and to change the world. On behalf of the students of Flippin School District, thank you for all you do!