Retiring teachers leave deep impression

Retiring teachers leave deep impression
Ted Guerard
Ted Guerard

Ted Guerard has wrapped up his career as a math teacher after 28 years in the profession.

“For the last five years or so, I’ve only been teaching calculus. I love the idea of just solving problems and having an orderly way to approach and solve problems. Seeing the light bulb go off when they understand what you’re trying to teach them is one of things I enjoy most,” Guerard said.

When thinking about his career, there are too many memories for just one to stick out, but the thing that makes up those memories are the hilarious moments that go on in and out the classroom.

“I don’t have one favorite memory really that stands out but lots of different memories of the years or just funny things that happen in class on one day or lots of times also with colleagues, outside of the classroom,” Guerard said.

Wando has played a big part in his life from him being a student there for four years then to him teaching math there, it will continue being a big part of his life to look back on. When he retires, he plans on traveling and doing things he has always wanted to do.

“My wife is already retired, so I’m gonna join her in retirement. When the school year ends I will definitely miss the students and getting to interact with them on a daily basis and also my fellow teachers,” Guerard said.

Guerard hopes he has helped students succeed in their education and life.

“I hope that I’ve been able to help, a lot of students achieve what they wanted to achieve.” Guerard said, “[I hope they] have a little head start on whatever their future path is going to be.”

Kim Deese
Kim Deese

Kim Deese had some friends that taught and they needed some help coaching. After he started coaching, a math position opened and he thought that would be a good idea. Forty-five years later he was still teaching and creating new memories everyday.

“I have a lot of favorite memories. I guess one of the nicest things is when students come back from college to visit and they remember you. You see them in the mall or in the grocery store and they come up and say you’re one of my favorite teachers. Or I took calculus and it was so easy in college because of what we did in Wando, so those are nice memories to have.” Deese said.
The best advice he has for seniors of 2024 is to go into college with an open mind and settle for the first job that comes to mind.

“Don’t say I’m gonna be a doctor, I’m gonna be a vet, or I’m gonna be an accountant because things change and this world is changing so fast, much faster than when I was 18, 19, 20 years old,” Deese said.

Getting up everyday at five in the morning is the one thing he won’t miss about teaching, but he will miss getting to interact with his student and his fellow teacher every week. When he leaves, he looks forward to getting to spend more time with his family, especially his father.

“I think the students keep me young. I’m a little leery of retiring for that one reason. Then all of a sudden all my peers are older and I think the kids make me feel younger. I have a 91-year-old father. So I’ll be spending more time with him helping him out. My wife is already retired so we hope we can do a little bit of traveling,” Deese said.

Janet Woodhall
Janet Woodhall

Janet Woodhall started her teaching career at a private Christian school in Greensboro, N.C. She was there for two years. She has had a massive impact on her student’s lives too. The student she was teaching was four to eight years younger then her and they are friends now to this day.

“I’ve been in public school for twenty one years. I did an interview with [Lucy] Beckham and that probably is one of my highlights was that interview with her because the interview went terrible. I walked away from here thinking, oh my gosh. That was the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life. And then she called me, like a few days later and said, you want a job? And I said yes I want a job. And she hired me in 2003 and I’ve been here ever since,” Woodhall said.

Woodhall said her greatest accomplishment is when her students graduate high school, watching them walk across the stage and start their biggest journey yet. She has had so many memorable students in her years of teaching that she can’t even be able to name just one.

“It’s just a student who just always does the right thing. The kid who always chooses to do the right thing regardless of peer pressure. The one who doesn’t try to avoid doing the work. The one who doesn’t come up with excuses. One who just does what they’re supposed to do regardless of the situation,” Woodhall said.

When retiring she will miss her students but she is excited to start her retirement.

“I am going to travel. I’m gonna visit my dad who’s 90 and spend a little bit more time with him than I can do right now. I have an aunt that’s my last aunt alive. I’m gonna go down and spend some time with her in Florida. And then I’m going to quilt and sew and craft and paint,” Woodhall said.

Angele Cody
Angele Cody

Angele Cody wanted to share her love for writing and literature with high school students. I thought it was very helpful to like a form of therapy to navigate their high school teenage years.
“I really love English because I love the real world aspects of the senior project,” Cody said.

Throughout her years of teaching, she came across so many extraordinary students. Every student she had was extraordinary in their own way.

“The thing that I think makes certain kids stand out and be extraordinary is their integrity, their intellectual curiosity, their willingness to take a risk to be wrong, their insight. Those are the traits that I find to be extraordinary,” Cody said.

She said her greatest accomplishment is finding out that one of her students that she taught is now one of the top five candidates for Charleston County School District teacher of the year. That is one of the joys she will miss about being a teacher.

“She wrote in her feature that it was because a lesson that she had in my tenth grade honors English class inspired her to become a teacher. Every single graduation when the seniors first come into the coliseum and see the stage, they’re going to be walking across and the smiles on their faces,” Cody said, “It’s been an incredible experience.”

Cody will miss many parts of her teaching career, she will miss her co teacher, Julie Freeze and her students most.
When asked on what advice she had for seniors, Cody mentioned that seniors should get invovled in their life.
“Don’t hang out on the sidelines of your own life. Sometimes it’s just kind of a hold your nose, close your eyes, kinda go for it, jump. So jump in.” Cody said.

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