By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Although Chase County Schools grade 7-8 math teacher Dianne Radcliffe will attend a retirement party in her honor next week, she doesn’t plan to leave school this spring and never return.
She hopes to substitute teach and tutor students.
Radcliffe has taught junior high math at CCS full time since 1985. Prior to that she taught half time from 1983-85.
The 66-year-old received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Kearney State College in January, 1967. She also has a Masters degree in education from the same institution.
Radcliffe began her career in 1967 in Giltner, teaching 7-12 math and science. She then taught math one year in Shelton.
In 1968, she was a graduate assistant at Kearney State College. She and husband Larry then moved to Biloxi, Miss., where she taught junior high math, including algebra and geometry, from 1968-71.
It was during that time that Mississippi integrated its schools. Radcliffe said it wasn’t a difficult adjustment, as Mississippi had watched other states do the same thing, and learned from their mistakes.
While Larry served in Vietnam, Radcliffe semi-retired in McCook. When he returned from service, they moved to Denver, Colo., Huron, SD and back to McCook. She substitute taught during that time.
The couple moved to Imperial in 1976, where she subbed until 1983. She has taught junior high math and some algebra since then.
Daughter Jewel and husband John Krajewski live in Lincoln and have two children. Son Derek lives in Omaha.
The teacher loved “absolutely to see the light in kids’ eyes when they understood” a problem.
Teaching math has been challenging, she said, because of the changes that have taken place. “Math has many new concepts,” she said. It’s also difficult to get students in to receive extra help.
“They just don’t ask for nearly enough help.” It gets worse in high school, she feels, so she emphasizes the need for students to go to a teacher if they don’t understand a concept.
Radcliffe said she doesn’t like the amount of paperwork teachers are required to fill out these days.
“They take away from working with students individually. You have to document everything,” she said.
She said she’s retiring because of her age, and because she gets full retirement. But, there’s more.
“I can see that maybe I can do a lot more for kids working one on one. The ones that are way ahead (in math) have kind of been left out with me, because I need to spend time with the youth who need extra help,” she said.
Radcliffe added, “I know the people of Imperial have a high work ethic, and they expect that of their children.”
The teacher appreciates the support she’s received from staff, parents and the community.
She stated that homework is just as important as practicing for music, sports and outside activities.
That’s where her retirement plan to tutor and sub comes in.
“You teach so many different ways to kids.” She plans to stay connected to the school system because she wants “to see what’s happening to my kids. They’ll always be my kids.”