Biology Teacher Ms. Cole Retires after 30 Years

Ms. Cole is a biology teacher beloved by many students for her incredible kindness and welcoming nature. She’s the type of teacher who you can easily turn to when you’re struggling in any way, science related or not. She has been working here at Shaker for a long 30 years and is now sadly retiring. We were lucky enough to be able to interview her and ask her some questions about her experiences at Shaker. 

Ms. Cole first began teaching at Shaker through a part-time job that Mrs. Singleton had introduced her to, in the hopes that it would eventually become a full time job. She had always thought that Shaker was a wonderful school so this was an amazing opportunity for her. As her teaching career at Shaker progressed, she had her fair share of highs and lows–one of these lows arose when she took 12 weeks off to give birth to her twins. Ms. Cole reveals that “…when I was home I was worried about my students but when I was back with my students I was worried about my kids.”  This constant struggle culminated into the biggest challenge she faced in her teaching career. 

One of the highs of her career is the relationships she made with her fellow colleagues, or rather, her friends. “There have been so many funny stories that could be told, because all the teachers, we’re so supportive and we do a lot of laughing together,” Ms. Cole continues to describe that in the office, the faculty are free to play lighthearted practical jokes on each other as a show of support; outside of work, they further develop those connections by going out to dinner and spending summers together. 

And of course, Ms. Cole loves her students. She loves being able to “meet, help, and interact with them–not just in the classroom, but in their personal lives as well.” She cares about the students like her own children, and they will always hold a special place in her heart. Ms. Cole ended our interview with a heartfelt piece of advice to her dear students: “listen to your teachers, and listen to your parents, because we all want what’s best for you.” 

Although her retirement is a very bittersweet moment, this may not be the last time we see her at Shaker–luckily for us students. In the same way that she started her career here at Shaker, she hopes to work here part time after her retirement: “I thought that could be perfect. I won’t have to get up at 4:30 in the morning, and I can still be with my students and my colleagues.” A fitting close to a successful and very meaningful teaching career. 

Thank you for everything, Ms. Cole. We hope to see you next year.