Teachers retire at primary school
Three longtime teachers at Black Mountain Primary have made their last home work assignments, having shepherded students from kindergarten through third grade. Rebecca Schuit, a third-grade teacher, Jamie Padgett, who taught second grade, and kindergarten teacher Nancy Hudson are retiring.
Schuit’s classroom was called the Eagles’ Nest, for a good reason.
“Third grade is an extraordinarily challenging year academically,” she said. “I taught my students that just like baby eaglets, they would be developing keen eyesight to pick out the most important ideas and details in reading. They would also be increasing skills to ‘pick up’ concepts with their talons and transfer those ideas to reading, math, and writing.
“Not only would their minds grow, but their hearts would grow strong spirits as they learned to problem-solve behavior and class community problems. As the months passed, they found themselves being ‘pushed out of the nest’ in order to build their confidence in their ability to fly independently, and even soar.”
Schuit taught for 30 years and found it gratifying to be involved in her students’ lives. A National Board Certified Teacher, she worked to reach each child in his or her own learning mode.
“I am retiring because it is time to move on,” Schuit said. “Jerry Green hired me as a first-grade teacher in 1999, and I took the late Vicki Begley’s place in third grade. It is a grade that is a demanding challenge for teacher and students. I love the humor and laughter of the students and will miss it greatly.
“I want to thank the parents for giving me their children and trusting me with their growth and development. I am grateful for their respect, whether they agreed with me or not. It has been a great honor to be part of this special community. When you see me around town, stop and say hello. I am ready to do other things now and to start a new chapter of life.”
“Schuit made learning fun for her students,” said Green, the former Black Mountain Primary principal. “She studied her students well and knew what they needed and taught them how to learn.”
“Schuit is passionate about teaching and learning,” current principal Malorie McGinnis said. “She set high expectations for her students, shared her wisdom and taught lifelong lessons.”
By Christmas 2014, Jamie Padgett knew she would be retiring at the end of the school year. She had taught at W.D. Williams Elementary and spent the last eight years at Black Mountain Primary - a total of 27 years in the classroom. She is also a National Board Certified teacher.
“God laid it on my heart to do other things,” she said. “I want to do volunteer mission work and help my sister who owns her own cleaning business. I have dedicated 27 years to the teaching profession, and it has been awesome. The children will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will miss them. This is God’s time, not mine, and I’m listening.
“I couldn’t have ended my career at a better place than Black Mountain Primary School.”
“Mrs. Padgett had the gift of knowing how to motivate students,” Green said. “She also had the gift of students wanting to be in her class and loving to be there.”
Hudson started at Black Mountain Primary in 1989. She was a true hometown girl, having attending Black Mountain Primary, middle school and graduating from Owen High School. After college at UNC Greensboro and Mars Hill College (now University), she was ready for classroom teaching.
“I am looking forward to spending time with my family and just being retired,” she said. “I’ll miss the kids a lot. I’ve spent some 27 years with children, and they have been my life. I am going to do some catching up with old friends.”
“All three of our retiring teachers collaborated with colleagues on a regular basis,” McGinnis said, “which allowed them to continually grow as educators. As dedicated teachers, they gave students much more than an education. They will be missed.”