Ok so… Now (in the story, not literally) it’s a couple of weeks into the summer this year, and we are interviewing for a new full-time English teacher to replace a vet who bolted to Colorado in February and got married to her long-lost childhood sweetheart. Now (as a sentence starter, not as a statement of time) full-time English positions are as rare here as they were in the district I spoke of in the previous post. Rarer. I think the last one was almost 15 years ago.  This is a big deal and we need someone who kicks booty. We are probably going to have to live with them for a long time.

We had five interviews that day.

We liked Number One a lot. The rest had a tough act to follow.

By the time we got to Number Five, all the doodles and talk balloons on my interview sheets indicated that Number One was going to be the one. Colleen and I were on the same page on this.

Number Five was fresh. This would be his first full-time gig if he were to get it. We hadn’t seen fresh in awhile.

Number Five liked junior high. My inner seventh grader (who is the final decider in cases like this) liked him. He could picture sitting in “Ken’s” class and NOT getting bored or S&R*. I doodled a picture of him. Too bad we can’t hire two…

Colleen and I looked at each other while he was answering someone else’s question. She raised her eyebrows and mouthed, “I like this guy.”

I nodded and “Me too’ed” and doodled. Then she passed me a note across the table. Her inner seventh grader was there too.

The note said: “We need this guy. I’ve just decided I’m going to retire.”

What the…?! This was going to be her 42nd year.

I waved my hands questioningly and mouthed, “WHAT?”

She just nodded.

I wrote: “You mean so we can hire both?!”

She pointed at Ken, pursed her lips, and nodded.


Ken finished his interview, and our principal followed him out to say goodbye, and Colleen followed him out, and I followed Colleen out.

Outside was a jumble.

“How do I do this?”

“Can she do this?”

“So we’re agreed on the two we like?”

“You better call personnel.”

“OMG. What?”

“What am I going to do next year?” (me)


“My husband will be surprised.”

“No way, really?”

“I better get ahold of personnel.”

More hugs.

“Can we really do this?”

“You better save that note for Ken!”

“What am I going to do next year?”


So… 20 years after giving me my shot, Colleen has done it again for another promising rookie.

What am I going to do? I have gone through five principals, but there was always Colleen.

Thanks for everything.