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Best wishes to retirees

With the ending of another school year comes another round of retirements, and it seems this year has seen the retirement of a large number of particularly well-loved and experienced educators.

At Suffolk Public Schools’ annual retirement banquet this year, 50 retirees celebrated a total of 1,025 years of service to Suffolk students — and that was just in Suffolk! Many of them had begun their careers in other districts and had a total of years of experience much higher than that.

These amazing retirees were teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, bus aides, ROTC instructors, administrative assistants, cafeteria workers, guidance counselors, accounting technicians, guidance directors, custodians, speech pathologists and coordinators of programs like career and technical education. Each and every one of these people played an integral role in the education of Suffolk students, some of them for more than four decades.

The city’s private schools have had their share of retirees, too.

We’ve featured a handful of these retirees on our front page these past few weeks, and they have had amazing stories to share.

The decision to go into education, especially lately, is never easy. Today’s new educators face many more challenges than today’s retirees did when they were rookies themselves. But these retirees saw all of those challenges develop over the years because they stuck with the job for the pure joy of seeing kids grow and learn. For that, we thank them and wish them much happiness and relaxation in their retirement. They have certainly earned it.

We have every confidence that a new crop of rookie teachers is prepared to start this fall with great energy, fresh ideas and the same commitment to education as their predecessors. We’re sure Suffolk’s next generation is in good hands.