The Spirit of Acadiana is at Breaux Bridge Primary and Miss Mary Bellard is retiring after 53 years and her students want to give her a silent cheer of ‘thanks’.
"53 years. Have you thought about that?" I asked her. “I've been doing it since I was 23 years old. Right after i got out of college,” says Bellard. “I’m almost 76. So that's a long time.”
"O.K., let's go. Let's do the title. Go. 'Creature Feature Insects',” Bellard tells the class.
We've established that Mary Bellard has a bit of experience as an educator, with over half of it, mind you, in St. Martin Parish Schools. So my guess is Miss Bellard can more than handle some tough questions. Cue Student #1. “Miss Bellard, what letter in the alphabet looks like a triangle and has a piece of the triangle inside?” Bellard didn’t hesitate. “An 'A'. Capital 'A'.” The student responded, “Correct!”
Student #2 said, “Miss Bellard, if a tree falls to the ground in the woods, and there's no one around, does it make a sound?”
“Yes. It makes a sound," Bellard replied.
Student #3 asked, “Miss Bellard, what's the meaning of life?” We stumped her. “That's a tough one.”
It may have taken her a second, but Mary Bellard regrouped, and had a beautiful answer. “I’m enjoying what you love to do. And I think I have, all these years."
Learning about insects was only part of what was happening today. The need to discipline, you see, never ends because there's always that one troublemaker.
"Why did you put Mr. Scott in timeout?” Student #4 asked.
Bellard replied, “Because he's a rascal.”
Student #5 then asked, "Do you know we're going to miss you?”
“Oh, I’ll miss you, too," said Bellard. "But I'll come visit.”
And finally, Student #6 wanted to know, “Who's your favorite student?”
Bellard answered, “Oh, I love you all very much.”
Thank you, Miss Bellard, wonderful job after 53 years. And to all of you teachers, especially during this interesting year: thank you, thank you very much.
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