Upper St. Clair honors retiring teachers

Published May 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm (Updated May 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm)

Upper St. Clair School Board on May 28 honored six of the 15 district teachers who will retire after this school year.

Robin Forgerson-Pleta, an Eisenhower Elementary resource teacher, is retiring after 35 years with the district, having started during the 1978-79 school year.

“Thirty-five years has gone in a snap. Thank you for trusting me with your children,” she said.

Anna Marie Glowaski will retire from her position as a Boyce Middle School art teacher. She has spent 32 years in the district, beginning with the 1979-80 school year.

Robin Shoup will retire as Fort Couch Middle School librarian. She’s been with the district for 24.5 years. “I’m leaving a better person than when I came,” she said. “Fort Couch is my family. It’s not going to be easy to move away from that.”

Barbara Starr will retire as a teacher at Streams Elementary School. She’s been with the district for 35 years, beginning in 1977-78.

She recalled her first year of teaching, noting that there was one rotary telephone in the entire school for the staff to use and it was located in the nurse’s office, and that teachers used to line up to use it. Starr said in those days, you pinned a note to a child’s clothing to communicate with the parents, and then they would pin a response note in the clothing the next day.

She tearfully thanked the school board for putting students and teachers first.

“I hope I’ve given something back,” Starr said.

Kimberly Watt will retire as a high school mathematics teacher, having spent 35.5 years in the district.

Superintendent Patrick O’Toole said the high school guidance department told him they were glad she is retiring, so that they don’t have to field the large number of calls from parents trying to get their children into her classes.

“I feel like I’ve taught almost everyone in Upper St. Clair – I’ve been here that long,” Watt said. “I’ve had a wonderful adventure – not a job.”

Patricia Zapp is retiring as a high school resource teacher after 36 years in the district. She began in 1975-76, and she said she is proud of the fact that she is the last person on that seniority list.

O’Toole said when he wants to know the origin of something, the high school principal always tells O’Toole that he needs to ask Zapp and get back to him.

“She’s our historian,” O’Toole said.

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