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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Jeanne Simonton retires from St. Peter Elementary School

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The doors are unlocked and a radio shouts out the latest advertisement. Boxes, both filled and partially filled, covers every flat surface in the room.

Jeanne Simonton climbs down a ladder in the corner, brushing dust off of her jeans and says, "Hi."

Another person -- smaller -- pops her head up from behind a wall of boxes and smiles.

"She's the secretary's daughter," Simonton says as she closed the ladder and llays it on its side, with a half-dozen thumbtacks landing on the floor.

After 40 years in the classroom, Simonton is retiring from her job as a third-grade teacher at St. Peter Catholic School.

"I'm going to help out more on the farm and we'll travel," she said.

A book goes in a box.

Then a few papers.

Throughout the entire discussion, Simonton never stops moving. The energy around her gives the impression that she rarely stops moving.

Despite her impending retirement, Simonton plans to continue her energetic pace with trips to Germany and Egypt planned.

"We'll do the Rhine cruise at Christmas," she said, "then a two week Nile cruise."

St. Peter will miss the veteran teacher, said Principal Gary Littrell.

"You don't replace 40 years of experience with a new person," he said.

Simonton started her teaching career in Sisseton, South Dakota. After two years, she relocated to Missouri and taught nine years in Dixon. She came to Marshall in 1981 and began teaching fifth grade at Bueker Middle School.

After 17 years at Benton Elementary, she substitute taught at St. Peter for six years and spent the last four years teaching third Grade.

As she packs the room, Simonton pauses, "I always wanted to be a teacher-since first grade."

Although she is retired and planning vacations amidst working on the family farm, Simonton intends to substitute teach next year.

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