This month, eight Barrington Public School educators will be retiring. Totaling 141 years of service to the children and families of Barrington, they all have left a lasting mark in the district.
The retirees include kindergarten teachers at the three elementary schools in town, an enrichment specialist at Sowams School and principal at Primrose Hill.
Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore said he and his staff are in the process of filling the soon-to-be-openings, starting with a search for the next Primrose Hill School principal. Paula Montesi has led the local elementary school for the past five years.
A selection committee is in place to review applications and narrow down candidates to be interviewed. Mr. Messore said he is hopeful a candidate will be chosen and have an opportunity to train with Mrs. Montesi at the school before she leaves.
Interviews for the seven other positions will take place before the 2014-2015 school year begins Aug. 25.
Below are the retirees, their lengths of service, positions, and remarks about their time as members of the Barrington Public School family.
Principal, Primrose Hill School, 5 years
As Mrs. Montesi retires from her position at Primrose Hill School it is with mixed feelings. She said she is excited to start the next chapter in her life, but sad to leave Barrington.
“I will especially miss the children who brightened my day with their enthusiasm, their honesty, and their love of learning. I have interacted with the many wonderful families at Primrose. I admire and applaud their desire and commitment to partnering with us in their children’s education and for envisioning, sustaining, and supporting the various Primrose PTO traditions like the carnival, jog-a-thon, and reading week,” Mrs. Montesi said.
“Finally, I have always felt supported by my talented, committed, and close knit colleagues on the administrative team and will miss that camaraderie. I made a great decision to come to Barrington and will hold fond memories of everyone I encountered during my tenure here long after I depart. Thank you to everyone for your support.”
Mrs. Montesi is looking forward to pursuing some special interests in her retirement and spending time with her family.
Kindergarten teacher, Primrose Hill School, 27 years
This June will be the completion of Mrs. Stoner’s 33rd year of teaching Barrington’s youngest learners. For 6 years, she owned and operated Ladybug Playgroup. Since then, she has taught kindergarten at Primrose Hill School for 27 and 1/2 years.
Working with young children in Barrington has been an amazing and magical time in her life. The children have been so interested in learning and every day has brought laughter, new accomplishments and even a few tears along the way, she said.
“I feel very fortunate to have had a supportive administration that, among other things, has provided extensive professional development during each school year. The staff at Primrose Hill School has been wonderful to work with. The parent volunteers, over the many years I have taught, have made an enormous difference in my ability to deliver a developmentally appropriate and enriching kindergarten experience. I could never have accomplished this without their many hours of dedication,” Mrs. Stoner said.
For the last 15 years, she has been working to bring a full-day kindergarten program to Barrington.
“It would be a meaningful gift to me and the future kindergarten students of Barrington if this program is approved at the upcoming town meeting and instituted in the fall,” she said.
She and her husband lead a very active lifestyle and look forward to continued travels as well as enjoying outdoor activities. They spend a great amount of time with their three children, their spouses and six grandchildren.
Business teacher, Barrington High School, 28 years
After 39 years in the teaching field, Karen Proule has decided to hang up her “teaching hat” in order to pursue new endeavors.
“I plan on living a healthier lifestyle, gardening more in my yard, traveling to places never seen, and getting involved with even more volunteer work. I will still have my finger in the pie so to speak by teaching courses at the Barrington Community School and the Lincoln Senior Center,” she said.
Nurse, Nayatt Elementary School, 6 years
Mrs. Galvin has come to know the students at Nayatt School very well during her 6 years as school nurse. She said she will miss their laughter and their tears as she moves into retirement.
“It has been a pleasure working with the Nayatt School community, students and staff. It has been an honor to work with and collaborate with my fellow school nurse teachers. Barrington is fortunate to have such dedicated nurses with incredible experience taking care of their children. Thank you to all who have supported and worked with me over the years,” Mrs. Galvin said.
Robotics teacher, Barrington Middle School, 9 years
It is with mixed emotions that Mr. Monuteaux is retiring after 43 years — 9 as technology education teacher in Barrington and the last 8 teaching robotics at the middle school.
Mr. Monuteaux coached Barrington Middle School Robotics Competition Teams in FIRST LEGO League, the TSA Competition at New England Tech, and Robotics Park. He was on hand to see “Team OVERFLOW” win first place in the Rhode Island FLL Championship Tournament. He was also awarded the Rhode Island Middle School Technology Education Teacher of the Year.
“For me to be awarded the Rhode Island Middle School Technology Education Teacher of the Year, and for Barrington Middle School to be awarded Rhode Island Technology Education Program of the Year has been overwhelming and a very humbling experience.
“It has been a lifetime personal joy to get up every morning to go to school. After many years of teaching high school tech ed, it was a refreshing pleasure to teach middle school age students. It is so exciting to watch them learn, and see the excitement in them when they ‘get it’,” he said.
Mr. Monuteaux’s retirement plans are to move to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. in July and live six blocks from his daughter. Mr. Monuteaux already has a part-time job lined-up teaching robotics after school in Florida.
Patti Jo Gluek
Fifth grade teacher, Hampden Meadows School, 22 years
Patti Jo Gluek leaves her position with a heavy heart but at the same time said she is proud of the district and the education it provides the students.
“It has been such a rewarding experience to have been a teacher in the Barrington School District. I am proud of this district’s expectations as it prepares the students to succeed, not only in the academic areas, but also the arts, music, sports, and all of the extracurricular activities. I could not have asked for a better profession. I look back on the number of children who have touched my life with deep gratitude,” she said.
Kindergarten teacher, Sowams and Nayatt Schools, 23 years
Mrs. Tessier has been a kindergarten teacher at both Sowams and Nayatt Elementary Schools. She has taught hundreds of children and met many wonderful people she thinks of as friends.
“It has been a pleasure working in the Barrington School District. I have met so many wonderful families and had the privilege of being part of an exceptional, dedicated professional learning community.
“It will be hard to say ‘Good-bye’ to those who I have come to know and love so well over the years. I am blessed to count them among my friends. Administrators who trusted me and guided my professional growth, teachers and support staff who were a pleasure to work with each day, volunteers who gave of themselves to help my students and parents who entrusted their precious children to me.
“Most of all, however, I will miss the wonderful little five and six year olds who have sat before me with wide-eyed innocence, so eager to learn so full of love.
“It has been a wonderful way to spend my life, to live in the world of a kindergartner, to start them off on their journey through their educational life has been a true privilege and gift,” Mrs. Tessier said.
Carroll S. Garland
Enrichment specialist, Sowams School, 21 years
Mrs. Garland has been teaching for 35 years, including 21 in Barrington. For the first eight years she was involved in developing a multi-age program at Sowams. At the time parents were given a choice whether they wanted their children placed in a single grade classroom or a multi-aged one (grades 1-3).
“This innovative program built strong relationships with both students and their families. In addition, we learned to look at individual learners and their own personal learning progression, no matter what age they were. From a personal perspective, this was one of my richest teaching experiences of my career,” she said.
The final 13 years of her career in Barrington, Mrs. Garland has served as an enrichment specialist and literacy/instructional coach. She helped develop all school programs such as town meetings, lunch & learns, enrichment clusters, and green team (recycling/composting all school lunch waste). She also developed a program for high ability students to be implemented as a pull-out service or in-class differentiation.
As a literacy/instructional coach, she worked with teachers in their classrooms and developing units of study together to embed professional development within their setting.
“Once again, I am grateful to have worked with such open, receptive and thoughtful professionals who were willing to open their doors and work hard for the children in their charge,” she said.
— By Joan D. Warren