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Six teachers retire from Loomis District

By: Leah Rosasco, Loomis News Correspondent
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EDITOR?S NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series on teacher retirees in the Loomis Union School District. As the 2012 school year ended, retiring Loomis Union School District teachers look forward to new beginnings. With a combined total of nearly 160 years of experience, schools throughout the district will say goodbye to six retiring teachers this year. According to Jay Stewart, district associate superintendent, the loss of those retirees will create an ?experience vacuum.? ?As much as we are happy for them, these are all great teachers and their leaving kind of hurts because of the experience we will lose,? Stewart said. Stewart said the District has filled several of the positions, but how many remaining slots are filled will be dictated by enrollment numbers. ?We don?t want to over-hire, so we need to continue to track how many students we are going to get,? Stewart said. Carleen Foley and Donna Page, who have been with the District 40 and 38 years respectively, retired from Placer Elementary School. Both Foley and Page taught at several schools in the district during their careers, and both spent their final years teaching kindergarten. Foley, who earned her teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento on a G.I. Bill after serving in the Air Force, said the decision to retire was difficult. ?I have gotten much more out of my career than I ever thought I would,? Foley said. ?It?s been a very rewarding career.? Foley recalls her first day as a kindergarten teacher after several years of teaching eighth grade. She asked her kindergartners to write their name on their paper only to find that they didn?t yet know how to pick up a pencil or write their name. ?I had to take a step back, and learn to do things in much smaller steps,? Foley said. ?It was a learning experience for me, too.? Foley said she hopes to take the summer as if it were any other summer vacation, and see what develops. ?I?m hoping that something interesting will come my way over the summer,? Foley said. Page, who grew up in Loomis and attended Loomis schools herself, was instrumental in the creation of developmental kindergarten, which helps prepare the very young kindergarten students for regular kindergarten. Page was also twice selected by her peers for Placer Elementary?s Teacher Who Makes a Difference award, which is given by the Placer County Office of Education, and she coordinated the shipment of 500 knapsacks and teddy bears to a school in Manhattan, N.Y. after the attacks of September 11, 2001. ?I?ve had the chance to do a lot of interesting things and meet a lot of great people,? Page said. Page now plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and take up some hobbies. ?I?m interested in clogging,? Page said. ?Hopefully, I can find someone crazy enough to teach me.?