Jun 10, 2013 11:16 PM by Erin Steuber
It's no secret it hasn't been an easy year for teachers but not everyone's ready to give it up, even after decades. With its annual banquet, the Lafayette Parish School System honored employees who have worked for the system for anywhere from 5 to 40 years, in some cases even longer. Liz Tullier has been teaching in the parish for 40 years.
"I always wanted to be a social studies teacher. For the past 25 years I've been at Northside and it recently became an academy of legal studies," said Tullier. "I really think this is my niche. I love the academy and I love my students."
But the evening's banquet also marked the end of many career's. Thirty-five retiree's, with nearly a-thousand hours of combined experience, were honored. Gracie Prince is among them and has been a second grade teacher in Lafayette Parish for 34 years.
"Just the passion and the desire to see when you look into a childs eyes, to see that gift of learning, and just continuing on to be someone in life," said Prince.
This was a tough year for teachers. As of June 5th, 95 teachers retired from Lafayette Parish. Compare that to only 56 at this same time last year, many of those citing state changes and discipline issues as some of their reasons for leaving the system.
"i'm just driven from the heart," said Prince. "My reason for retirement had nothing to do with the state, I just thought it was time for me to go and trust me it was not easy."
But for some, even after 40 years, they will be back to their classrooms at the beginning of next year.
"I love my students. I wake up ready to go to work. Everyday is a challenge and I see that our academy is increasing every year and that makes me proud," said Tullier. :"Right now, I'm not ready to give it up."