Albemarle Elementary School P.E. Teacher Celebrates Retirement
Not many people stick with their first job out of college for very long, but one Albemarle County teacher has done it for more than three decades.
Friends, students and colleagues celebrated a Stone-Robinson Elementary School teacher's retirement Sunday - after 36 years of service.
Patsy Reardon says her love for sports and teaching children made physical education a perfect fit.
"It's been a blessing to do something I love for 36 years," she said. "It was my first job out of college. This is the only school I've ever taught in."
What makes Reardon's experience unique is she's been at the same Albemarle County school for more than three decades.
"I feel like she was the heart of the Stone-Robinson," said Molly Thompson, one of Reardon's former students.
Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people stopped by the Stone-Robinson gymnasium for a bittersweet celebration of Reardon's retirement. She got hugs and well wishes from former students, colleagues, and even a former teacher.
"She always made P.E. fun," Thompson said. "I still come and she'll give me a hug every time I visit."
Stone-Robinson Librarian Diane Goodrich said, "All of us remember her joyous gales of laughter in the hallways and it puts a smile on everybody's face. But also just her compassion, caring and focus on the children."
"We always had each other's back I guess you could say because we leaned on each other when we needed to and if something came up during class, we could adjust almost without talking to each other," said Tom Dovel, a retired Stone-Robinson P.E. teacher. "She can lift you up when you're down and she can take care of you when you cry. She's always got a good joke for everybody."
"I taught her in first grade elementary school at Johnson on Cherry Avenue," said Hunter Lang, Reardon's former teacher. "She was always a model student. It was my good fortune."
They're all celebrating a special educator as she starts a new chapter in her life.
"I'll miss the children, I'll miss the joy that they bring and I'll miss my Stone-Robinson family because we're just a big family here and it's going to be difficult not seeing them every day, but we'll still see each other and they'll always be in my heart," Reardon said.
Reardon plans to spend more time with her family - especially her husband and grandson. She also hopes to get to the beach a little bit more frequently, now that she has the time.
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