Friday, June 3, 2011

Birdie Alexander Elementary celebrates three retiring teachers

Forgotten history, bellowing laughter and joyful tears filled the Oak Room of the Center for Community Cooperation this evening. Teachers, staff, family and friends honored and thanked Carol Bartholf, Jewelle White, and Dr. Delores Seamster for a combined total of 106 years of teaching at the Birdie Alexander Elementary School retirement celebration.

In recalling her teaching career, Carol Bartholf commented, “I have taught Sunday School and training since I was in the fifth grade. I think that’s when I started to develop the desire to become a teacher.” She kept that desire for 42 years in education, and she’s proud of it. Her experience includes teaching preschool through 6th grade in self-contained classrooms, language arts and social studies in middle school, math in junior high and art in grades 3 through college. She has been a principal in a small country school, grades K - 6 and high school, and an elementary and middle school TAG teacher. She is known for her unique manner with children as well as her food dishes prepared for faculty and staff. Retiree Carol Bartholf cherishes every bit of her 38 years of service in Dallas ISD.

Though always conservative with words, Jewelle White “ inspired countless students." She was known for “the look" her signature expression that “scared her students into doing what was right.” One of the speakers reflected, “Everybody knew Ms. White meant business.” They also knew she cared about her students “who learned and had fun.” She has taught in Dallas ISD for 33 years, serving the entire time (1978 - 2011) at one school --Birdie Alexander. During her career, she taught physical education to more than 20, 000 students. Retiree Jewelle White, the only teacher on campus who has been there more than 30 years, celebrates her love and longevity of Dallas ISD service for the past 36 years.

Over three decades go, an excited and apprehensive young student-teacher was assigned to Birdie Alexander Elementary School. Now, this forever student and teacher Dr. Delores Seamster is retiring. Her outstanding journey in public education includes: classroom teacher, reading and staff development specialist, assistant principal, principal and Dallas ISD director of the Reading Language Arts Department. Always eager to help and share her knowledge, understanding and methods, Dr. Seamster has assisted, trained and provided support for thousands of educators. Upon leaving central administration, she returned to teaching, her first love. Some call it coincidence while others may see divine order in the fact that her last teaching assignment was at Birdie Alexander, the school where she started. Amazingly and not known at the time to the new principal, the classroom given to Dr. Seamster was the very same room in which she had done her student-teaching many years before. Since being back as teacher-leader, she and her team have helped Birdie Alexander students and reading scores to soar. Her passion and dedication to reading, education and children are evident. Retiree Delores Seamster delights in remembering and celebrating 32 years of service in Dallas ISD.

Thanks to Principal Roshonda Clayton-Brown and Birdie Alexander faculty, staff and community for the fun-filled Retirement Celebration at the Center for Community Cooperation.

Happiness to retired teachers Carol Bartholf, Jewelle White and Delores Seamster!