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The North Bend Eagle


Retiring teachers seeking new opportunities

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 5/5/10

Except for six months, Deb Andrews’s entire teaching career has been at North Bend Elementary. Thanks to Don Andrews.

Deb Fryzek graduated from college in December 1975 and wanted to teach third or fourth grade. The only job she could find for one semester was teaching kindergarten in Johnstown, with five students in the small town west of Ainsworth.

She wanted to get back to eastern Nebraska near family and friends, so applied for the third grade job at North Bend Elementary. When she heard that the kindergarten position was open, she changed her application for that job, and 34 years later is retiring from that position.

“God lead me here,” Andrews said. “Every day of my teaching career he has lead me.”

When Andrews was starting to look for other opportunities in 1979, she met her future husband and decided to stay in North Bend.

Andrews was the only kindergarten teacher when she first started with 22 students each in morning and afternoon sessions. This year she has 14 in her class.

“It’s a good class to retire from” Andrews said.

Andrews, 57, has lots of memories of her teaching years. She remembers on year in she only had one student as every one else was home sick.

In remembering accomplishments that she is particularly proud of during her teaching career is the Veteran’s day flag parade she started four years ago and the authors she helped bring to the school.

“I’ve had fabulous kids,” Andrews said, “supportive parents and a school board that provided me with what I needed.”

Retirement will give Andrews time to write children’s books of her own.

“I think I’ll write about my basset hound, Ike,” she said.

And time to keep up with up her sons, Ben and his wife Sherry in Rose, and Adam in Omaha, as well as other projects she is contemplating.

Cecilia Hall is also planning a busy retirement, her first project will be cleaning off her desk at home and getting organized . There will be reasearch and writing, geneology research and a little traveling to see family.

Hall, 65, is a 1962 graduate of North Bend High School. After college she taught in Leigh for three years, at the University of Nebraska -Lincoln for a year, then at Weeping Water for ten years. He husband, Jerry, also a teacher, decided he wanted to start a construction business so the family returned to the home of Hall’s great-grandparents. In 1979 Hall started at NBE a the librarian, and now 35 years later, she is retiring.

In looking back at her career, Hall said a highlight would be helping design the new media center at the elementary school. She has also enjoyed challenging students with the geography bee, spelling bee and other opportunities to grow.

“One thing I enjoyed was matching books with kids,” Hall said. “ And I’ll miss teachers and students telling me about books to order and reading the new books.”

While teaching for 44 years, Hall has also raised a family of seven, Mary now in Omaha, Beth in Malcom, Greg in North Bend, Rebecca in Morse Bluff, Rachel in Seattle, Wash., Nathan in Omaha, Eliss, a senior at University of Nebraska at Omaha, and 11 grandchildren.

About retirement, Hall says, “It’s a life changing moment, but you have to keep moving on. I don’t see it as traumatic, but I’ll be having the moments with family, church, organizatins and going to events.”

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