Retired teachers meet for back-to-school breakfast

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Wed., Sep. 4, 2013
Manchester retired teachers Sue Hadge, Wilda Wyse, Shirley Vessel, Ginny Rogala and Jennie Macione laugh over memories of old times. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Manchester retired teachers Sue Hadge, Wilda Wyse, Shirley Vessel, Ginny Rogala and Jennie Macione laugh over memories of old times. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The members of the Retired Teachers of Manchester organization got together to celebrate the first day of school on Aug. 28 at the Vernon Diner. The teachers reminisced about their years of teaching all grades in the Manchester school system.

Co-organizers Michelle Vadenais and Rhonda Senteio brought the retired teachers together once again. The group meets on an annual basis. “Many teachers still work on either a volunteer or a part-time basis,” said Senteio. “We love children and we love to teach. It just seems natural to keep on teaching in some capacity after retirement. Many teachers read to children in the Manchester school system. Some are reading tutors. I myself am part of an organization to support literacy. I also work with children from many other countries that are learning English as a second language. Many teachers substitute teach throughout the year as well.”

Ed Salkoski, Neil Foster and Larry Olsen taught at the high school. “We love thinking of how the teachers today have to get up so early and go to work, while we just get up when we feel like it,” said Olsen. “We kind of feel like saying, ‘Na-na-na-na-na!”

Foster added, “We can go fishing or do whatever we feel like doing, and at our own pace. That’s one benefit of retiring.”

“Ed taught social science, Neil taught technical education, and I taught math.  We’ve been friends for years,” said Olsen.

Approximately 30 retired teachers filled the back room of the diner. The noise level climbed as the time passed. “If the students in our classrooms were as loud as we are right now, they would have been in big trouble. Maybe we should get detentions,” joked Jennie Macione. “As much as we loved teaching, we love our freedom and retirement.”

Carol Colvin has joined the teachers for three years now. “I worked at Nathan Hale School. I taught for 32 years,” said Colvin. “Sue Hadge and I were next door neighbors while we taught at Hale. It was a blast.”

Tom Alexander, Rosemary Smyth, Nancy Sampson and Dayle Kimball laughed as they talked about old times and discussed future plans. Some teachers had been meeting for years, while others just retired last year. “We love coming together and reuniting on an annual basis,” said Alexander. “We all have stories to tell. We look forward to doing again next year.”


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