At the end of the 2016-17 school year, the following teachers said goodbye to the Gorham School Department after many years of employment. We wish them good luck in retirement.
Karen Carlson retired as a second grade teacher, having taught for the past six years at Village Elementary School.
She began teaching in Gorham in 1994 in a grades one and two, multi-age classroom at Narragansett School and continued teaching multi-age for a number of years and then transitioned into looping from first to second grade. After a bit, she settled into second grade permanently.
Carlson attended Gordon College in Wenham, Mass and finished her education at the University of Southern Maine.
“The most rewarding part of being a teacher has been building a classroom community with a wonderful group of boys and girls each year,” said Carlson. “I love discovering their gifts and talents, and working with them to share those gifts with others.”
She will miss the laughter and the hugs from the children, miss seeing students reach their goals as they learn to work hard and persevere, miss the visits from past year’s students as they make their way to their classrooms in the morning, and she will miss her wonderful colleagues who have become dear friends.
In retirement, she is looking forward to new adventures. She hopes that will include travel and visits with friends and family.
Mary Patterson retired from the resource program at Great Falls Elementary, having taught in the Gorham School District for the past 22 years.
Prior to teaching in Gorham, she was in special education for ten years in Falmouth and Cumberland, as well as West Hartford, Conn. Patterson has a B.S. undergraduate in Spec. Ed, Masters in Literacy, ESOL, and Early Childhood Certification.
The most rewarding part of her job has always been “teaching students to read and watching them grow to love it,” said Patterson. She will miss working with the students and her co-workers.
In retirement, Patterson plans to travel to New Zealand. She went there at the beginning of her career and taught a program, Reading Recovery, out of New Zealand for seven years. Now, she would like to return at the end of her career.
Anna Rudolph retired after teaching in the Gorham School District for 32 years, most recently as a second grade teacher at Village Elementary.
During her tenure in Gorham, she worked for five different principals and five different superintendents. She has taught in all three elementary schools, teaching first, second, and third grades.
Rudolph took some time off when her children were small and did substitute teach a bit during that time at a variety of grade levels. She also shared a math Ed Tech position one year and job shared with another teacher for two years.
She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a double major in elementary and special education and received her master’s degree at the University of Maine in Orono.
“There are so many rewarding moments in teaching that it is difficult to describe just one,” said Rudolph. “Seeing children excited to learn something new and making connections through their reading to other subjects like science and social studies is very rewarding.”
She has also loved sharing field trip experiences with her students. They had the opportunity to share experiences learning about Gorham History as they visited historical sites all over town and they’ve been to the beach to study the tide pools and to the planetarium at Robie Gym. She will miss these special times. She will also miss some of the special class projects that she has done over the years.
“Mostly I will miss seeing so many sweet young faces each day and the wonderful friends I’ve made while teaching in Gorham. It has been a joy and privilege,” said Rudolph.
During retirement, she will look forward to babysitting her granddaughter and she will be planning another trip to Guatemala where she is a team leader for her church mission trip. This will be her fifth trip to the same village where she will be working with the school children and teacher in the community to improve literacy skills and will build on connections previously made with the women of the village.
She also hopes to volunteer at Village School, at her church food pantry, and at the Animal Refuge League. Her oldest daughter will be getting married in the coming year so she will be busy planning that. And finally, she hopes to have time for lots of walks with her Great Dane.
The Gorham Times would also like to acknowledge Barbara Keene who retired as an Ed Tech at the High School but was unable to be reached for comment.