8 Teachers Retire in 2016-2017 at Sagamore Hills Elementary School

Sagamore Hills is so lucky to have some of the best teachers in the world. We are sad to lose some of those teachers this year (2016-2017), but they have definitely earned their retirements. We asked the following teachers a few questions about their time as teachers and about their retirement plans: Diane Jackson, Janet Jasper, Suzanna Quinn, Geri Stein, Linda Menendez, James Garner, Ernestine Cooper, and Sarah Brown.

Why did you become a teacher? Who/what inspired you to do so?

Jackson
I had two aunts who were both teachers that were role models for me. I saw how they enjoyed teaching and how fulfilling teaching was for them.
Jasper
My parents were teachers, so it was in my genes.
Quinn
My father taught for 37 years and was a huge inspiration to me.
Stein
When my children were in elementary school I began substitute teaching in Dekalb County. While I was substituting, several parents, students, and principals approached me and encouraged me to pursue full time teaching.
Menendez
I can’t think of any particular person that inspired me to become a teacher.
Garner
I became a teacher because I just had a knack for it.
Cooper
As the youngest in my family of five children, we played school over the summer. My siblings would never allow me to be the teacher. I started teaching my baby dolls and teddy bears. I’ve always enjoyed working with children.
Brown
It’s been so long, I don’t really remember.

What year did you begin teaching and where?

Jackson
I started teaching in 1987 at Sagamore
Jasper
I began teaching in 1982 in Monroe, LA.
Quin
I became a classroom teacher in 1991 at Sagamore.
Stein
In 2006 I accepted a teaching position at Sagamore in the third grade. I began teaching in one of the Learning Cottages.
Menendez
I started teaching 30 years ago at Avondale Elementary.
Garner
I began teaching at Avondale Elementary School in 1988.
Cooper
1987, in Florence County School District 3, South Carolina
Brown
Briarcliff High School in 1986

How long have you been teaching in Dekalb county? At Sagamore?

Jackson
I have been teaching for 30 years, all at Sagamore.
Jasper
22 years in Dekalb, 15 years at Sagamore
Quinn
I have been at Sagamore for 30 years, first as a para and then as a teacher.
Stein
My position at Sagamore has been the only full time teaching assignment that I have had.
Menendez
Dekalb: 30, Sagamore: 13
Garner
I have been teaching in Dekalb for 29 years and here at Sagamore for 18 of those years.
Cooper
Since 1990. At Sagamore:12 years
Brown
Dekalb: 29 years, Sagamore: 24

Did you spearhead or participate in any new programs at Sagamore that you are particularly proud of?

Jackson
I participated in the very first SciQuest camp and ultimately directed it for 6 or 7 years.
Quinn
I started the SciQuest Summer Camp.
I coached the first LEGO Robotics team.
Started the first Garden Club.
I was the first co-director of the ASA program.
I was a coach of the first SeaPerch team.
Stein
Each of my years at Sagamore have included unique challenges and personal achievements. These include:
Creating an stimulating an active teaching environment
Conducting hands on science activities
Promoting a love of reading among all of my students
Creating a passion in my students to become effective writers
Helping to implement the STEM program
Endeavoring to instill in each of my students a sensitivity to their fellow students and empathy for others and to the world around them
Garner
I was in charge of the Rock Eagle and Jekyll Island overnight field trips for 5th Grade. In 15 years, I never lost a kid.
Brown
I am proud of Reading Bowl. It encourages the kids to read books they might not read otherwise.

What is your favorite Sagamore memory?

Jackson
My favorite moment at Sagamore was when I was voted Teacher of the Year
Jasper
My favorite memories are from when my own children attended Sagamore, before I ever got here.
Quinn
The first day that I walked into my first classroom.
Stein
I have been blessed with many fond memories regarding the students, parents, and fellow staff members at Sagamore. I have particularly enjoyed seeing the lightbulbs go on when a child has had an exciting learning experience.
Menendez
I love when we have centers and I can just talk and play with the children. That is when I really get to know them.
Garner
My favorite Sagamore memory was competing against the students in Reading Bowl.
Cooper
Having my children come to work with me for a few years.
Brown
Seeing Mr. Garner’s classes in the library reading.

What are your plans for retirement?

Jackson
I plan to attend as many tennis tournaments as possible, starting with the US Open in NY. And to spend time with my granddaughter, who was born May 1st!
Jasper
I am retiring to be a full time grandmother (baby due in October)!
Quinn
Traveling, gardening, relaxing
Stein
Ecclesiastes 2:14 says “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” I have immensely enjoyed my journey as a teacher and I have loved this path with a true passion. I am off on my new journey or quest…I want to work on learning how to be a writer…write a book or maybe two. I also intend to chip away at my travel bucket list. Exploration of local biketrails is also anticipated.
Menendez
So many….. plan to get to many of the National Parks then travel abroad. Relax, not set an alarm.
Garner
I plan to sleep in, read, and travel when I retire.
Cooper
Rest, travel, spend more time with family, and working as a Consultant or Speech-Language Pathologist
Brown
I plan to learn to weave. I’m going on a cruise in Nov to New Zealand.