Over the past four decades, Diane Grabas has watched as generations have passed through the halls and how technology has evolved in the classrooms.
But the bond she's formed with her various co-workers and the relationships she's forged with her students have remained constant.
Grabas, who teaches sixth-grade literacy and was named the 2005 Teacher of the Year at , plans to retire in June after 40 years with the district.
“I decided to retire after noticing how happy my friends were after retirement," Grabas said in an email to Patch. "I also felt it was time and wanted to leave on a positive note."
Grabas plans after retirement to travel, “read books other than young adult novels, and being open to seeking out new adventures as a new chapter in my life begins," she said.
Grabas was inspired to start teaching by her aunt, whom was also a teacher.
“I wanted to try to have an impact, even if it’s a small one, on future generations," Grabas said.
She’s worked at various schools within the Hillsborough School District, including , and , teaching social studies and literacy in grades four through six.
One of the activities Grabas has shared with her students has been having them write letters to themselves when they are in sixth grade and "seeing and hearing their reactions when they receive them as eighth-graders."
One of the challenges Grabas has continued to face over the years has been the constant evolution of technology.
“Whether it is computers, phones, etc., just trying to keep up with it is a constant battle," Grabas said. "The students are so comfortable, they’re not afraid to try anything and I hesitate—fearful of pushing the wrong button and deleting everything.”
Grabas, who grew up in Newark, found a love for teaching because it's “so important to me because I have the ability to share both my knowledge and past experiences with future generations," she said.
She'll miss the relationships she's formed with her students as well as her colleagues.
“I will miss seeing my students on a daily basis, watching them grow throughout the year," she said, "as well as the friendships I have made with my fellow teachers, especially my team."
Have you or one of your children had Mrs. Grabas as a teacher? Share your memories and experiences in the comments.
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