After nearly three decades, teacher set to retire; Teacher Practicum class no longer offered

Maddie Jewett, Features Editor

Looking back on the memories she has had for the past 29 years, tears well up in the corners of her eyes.
She chooses her words carefully, wanting to leave an important last message with her past and present students.
“There has always been a philosophy that I have: ‘There’s two things we give our children — one is roots and the other wings,’” Family and Consumer Science teacher Donna DeHart said.
DeHart will be retiring this year after 29 years of teaching.
“I have had a lot of health problems lately,” she said. “I always promised myself I would retire when I was still effective. I realized my students weren’t getting what they should have been getting.”
As far as her future goes, she said she wants to continue to cross things off of her bucket list.
“I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren,” she said. “My dad is in a nursing home, so I want to spend more time with my mom and dad to do some daughterly things. Also, on the side I have a quilting business, and I plan on doing a lot of volunteer work. As far as traveling, I’ve already done a lot of that, so I’m just ready to live the next section of my life.”
Going along with the retirement of DeHart, the Teacher Practicum class which allows students to go out to schools and observe teachers for a two hour block period has been cancelled for the 2013-14 school year.
Because BV was the only school to offer this class, the only other alternate will be taking at class at the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS).
Assistant Principal Mark Dalton said Dehart retiring played a huge part in this decision.
“The class was kind of like her baby,” he said. “It was the class that she really took under her wing. Also, we had low enrollment, and we are the only school still offering this class.”
Junior Taylor Justmann was originally enrolled in the class for next year and said she was disappointed to hear the class would not be offered anymore.
“I had to come up with four different classes to take because it was a two hour block all year,” she said. “It was just a pain having to come up with new classes. I was really looking forward to the class and being at the field site with the kids.”
Justmann said she was called down to the office in order to pick her new classes for next year.
“One of my friends had gotten called down to the office by her counselor, and she told me about it,” she said. “Then a few days later my counselor called me down and asked me what classes I wanted to take instead [of Teacher Practicum].”
While Justmann said she was bummed about not being able to take the class, she said this opened up room in her schedule to take some fun classes senior year.
“I ended up joining Chorale, so it’s allowing me more opportunities to participate in different things my senior year,” she said.
DeHart said she will miss her students the most when she leaves.
“In the same way that the students learn from me in the classroom, I learn so much from them,” she said. “They enrich my life. I’m going to have to give up a part of myself with retirement.”