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2 William Monroe Teachers Say Goodbye after 40 Years - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

2 William Monroe Teachers Say Goodbye after 40 Years

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GREENE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -

Students in Greene County are thrilled to be out of school for the summer. While many people will be right back in August, two longtime teachers at William Monroe Middle School are saying goodbye for good.

Sandra Austin is closing the last chapter in her long teaching career.

"This has been a part of my life for so long. It's a happy time, it's a sad time,” said Austin.

Austin has taught seventh grade reading at William Monroe Middle for the last 40 years - starting back when it was just an elementary school.

"This was my first job. I started here the September after I graduated from JMU,” said Austin.

Sixth-grade science teacher Joanne Worley is also saying goodbye after 40 years. As the two walk down the halls for the last time they think about what it was like when they first started.

"I was very nervous 40 years ago,” said Worley.

That's when the building was much smaller and there were only two teachers per grade.

"It was a little community, everybody knew everybody else. We knew the kids, we knew their families,” said Worley.

Now things have changed.

"In the old days I wanted all book reports written by hand. Now we want everything typed on the computer,” said Austin.

The two teachers now deal with the cellphones, laptops, iPods and the battles come along with them.

After 40 good years, Worley says she's ready for a change. And as Austin puts away her books and packs up her classroom, she leaves new teachers with a bit of advice.

"You have to be compassionate with the kids. They want your love, and your understanding, and acceptance,” said Austin.

Austin plans to spend more time with her husband but says she will be back as a substitute teacher next year. Worley plans to spend time with her granddaughter.

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