HELENA – Helena Public Schools and the Helena Education Association honored retiring educators at a ceremony Thursday afternoon.
This year, the event recognized 27 school district employees, including 21 teachers, along with counselors, paraeducators, custodians, and Superintendent Jack Copps.
District leaders say the event highlights the impact that educators can have throughout their careers.
“Every single child matters, and we have to find that potential,” Copps said.
Suzy Fabian, an eighth-grade English teacher at C.R. Anderson Middle School, spent 30 years working in Helena schools. She said it’s an honor to be recognized by her colleagues.
“You come to these as a guest, to support your friends as they retire, and you kind of think, ‘It’s never going to happen to me; I’m never going to get there,’” she said. “This is the thing that really clinches a career.”
Fabian, who was chosen as Helena’s Educator of the Year in 2016, said she will now spend more time traveling with her husband and making jewelry through her small business. She said retirement will be a big adjustment.
“You always miss the children,” she said. “Every year you get 125 new kids and you get to see them grow and progress through the year. So you always miss the kids, but I’m really going to miss my teaching team that I work with. We’ve developed a great friendship, and they’re top-notch.”
This year’s retiring employees have a combined 755 years of education experience.