Reshuffling the Cards: Happily Retiring

“Now that I’m retiring, I finally get to wake up without an alarm clock … at 6:30 a.m.,” said Laddie Lawrence, a physical education teacher and track coach.

While the thought of waking up at 6:30 in the morning makes many people want to drop dead, for Lawrence, this is considered sleeping in, after waking up at 5:30 a.m. for the past 44 years.

According to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, 25,000 grade school educators will be retiring in America this year. Besides Lawrence, four other Staples educators, Christine Radler, Bruce Betts, Christine Gray and Julia Roberts, will be included in that number.

And, with their newfound freedom, they have all made exciting plans for the future.

“I plan on working with underserved high school students to help them with the college process,” said Gray, a guidance counselor.

In fact, it seems that many retiring teachers will continue to pursue activities related to their true passion: teaching.

“I love teaching, and I’ve had a great career working with some fantastic kids,” said Radler, an English teacher.

“Now I’m going to continue on to teach therapeutic writing and horseback riding to people with disabilities.”

However, not all of these teachers will leave completely. Students can look forward to seeing Lawrence’s smiling face in the halls on a daily basis since he will continue to coach all three seasons of track.

He hopes to write a book about his time coaching.

“I’ve been known for my stories with the team. In fact, they won’t get off the bus for a championship meet unless I tell them a story first,” Lawrence said.

Since many of these staff members have been working at Staples “from the time when the dinosaurs roamed,” as Radler put it, there will definitely be a void when they are gone.

“I can honestly say that Mr. Betts is the best gym teacher I’ve ever had because he’s so chill and treats his students like his equals,” Leah Fuld ’16 said.

And besides relationships with their students, these teachers’ long legacies come with close bonds with their co-workers.

“Mrs. Roberts makes a heck of a coconut cake, and she brings it in for my birthday every year,” said Robin Stiles, her fellow librarian. “She has to come back to make it for me even when she’s gone.”

But, luckily, these retirees will take many memorable experiences along with them in their future endeavors.

“I’ll never forget when the Class of 2011 senior girls bubble-wrapped the whole library. It was so cute, and, every time you took a step, you would hear a popping sound,” Roberts said.

As Staples says farewell to these incredible teachers, let’s just remember and appreciate everything that they have done to make Staples an even better school.