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Retired educators among us

As students of all ages head back to school this month, we want to recognize the former teachers in our community for the years they spent in the classroom educating young minds through the years.

Maxine Strawn

Retired after 35 years: Taught kindergarten (21 years) and first and second grades (14 years)

Why did you become a teacher? “I was given two options—nursing or teaching. My first choice was to be a sports announcer, but I found that was a man’s world. I had been an English major and had developed my writing. And I had always loved reading and wanted to teach children to read.”

What did you enjoy most about teaching? “My greatest joy was when I saw the ‘click’ of a child finally understanding the symbols on a page were words and those words meant something, and when they were combined together it created a story.”

Ray Salmon

Retired after 38 years: Taught senior high English and driver’s education; worked as an elementary school principal, high school principal, superintendent and assistant superintendent.

Why did you become a teacher? “I enjoyed working with youth, and I thought maybe I could do some good. I had high aspirations in leaving the world better than I found it.”

What did you enjoy most about teaching? “I enjoyed being with the kids in the classroom and the success of the students. One of my favorite classes was sixth grade—the kids would do anything for you and were ready to work.”

Betty Rassette

Retired after 35 ½ years: Taught home economics, child development and foods and nutrition

Why did you become a teacher? “My mother had always told me I wanted to be a nurse, and I didn’t know about that. When I was a senior in high school, I had a younger brother who was hospitalized after a horse accident. At that time, they wouldn’t let me go see him. No children were allowed back in the 50s. That irritated me so much I said I wouldn’t go into nursing for any money. I liked my home economics teacher in school, so I decided I’d go into that area and I’ve been really happy with the choice.”

What did you enjoy most about teaching? “I enjoyed the kids. I loved working with high school kids.”

Mabelle Mase

Retired after 30 years (give or take): Taught third grade and special education

Why did you become a teacher? “When I started college, I intended to get a degree in home economics. But finances became harder then and my parents weren’t able to send all four of us at one time to college. So, two years was the limit. I got my teacher’s certificate to earn money.”

What did you enjoy most about teaching? “I loved everything—being with the children, helping them with their problems. I just loved teaching them.”

Left to right: Mabelle Mase, Betty Rassette, Ray Salmon, and Maxine Strawn taught a combined nearly 140 years in public schools.

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