At the end of this school year, the eight longest serving educators in the Havre Public Schools District will retire with a cumulative 235 years experience. The Havre Daily News will be talking to the retiring educators in the coming weeks.
Ireland came to Havre in the late 1970s, for her second teaching job after graduating in 1975 and working for a few years in Denton.
She started at Highland Park and later moved on to the former Devlin School.
But the majority of her time teaching in her hometown, 33 years in a 36-year career, were spent teaching second grade.
This year will be her last spent shaping the minds of young Havreites.
She said that after teaching for so long, she really enjoys when those minds come back not so young, but grateful for the forming.
“The thing I like best is when they grow up and come back to you and remember you, ” Ireland said. “They remember things you did and are happy you were their teacher. ”
Ireland said she felt the time was right to call it quits.
“I’m still young enough to enjoy myself, ” Ireland said. “I don’t have any aches or pains yet. I have some grandchildren I want to spend time with in other towns. ”
Besides looking forward to some free time to travel or golf, there are a few things she anticipates missing.
“I’m going to miss all my friends and the second family that we have here at our building, ” Ireland said. “I’ve been doing a Christmas program for 25 years, the same program, and I am going to miss doing that with them. ”
Havre Public Schools Superintendent Andy Carlson recalled a specific memory of Ireland’s dedication to students.
“There was a child that was having an extremely difficult time at Lincoln-McKinley, ” Carlson said. “Mrs. Ireland is the type of individual that stepped up and said ‘I want this student in my class. ’”
“It was just amazing, the turnaround in that child’s life, to see something like that first hand and what she’s done for that child and so many others. ”