The school year is nearly over for students and staff, and as the year draws to a close, it has a different meaning for many.
The end of the second semester signifies many things; the last few months of high school for seniors, the end of the very first year of high school for freshmen, and the end of a career for some of AT’s teachers, including Deb Cuthbertson, a staff member who has been working at AT for 24 years.
Cuthbertson has thoroughly enjoyed working with teachers and staff, and seeing the students everyday.
“Things have definitely changed since I’ve been here, but it’s just really fun being around the kids,” Cuthbertson stated.
She also shared that one of her favorite things about working for AT has definitely been the spirit weeks and all of the school festivities such as homecoming week.
One positive experience she’s had from working for AT has been enjoying the different festivities and watching the students grow academically.
The most negative experience she has had was the quarantine and the virtual learning environment.
“I’m sad that this year has gone the way that it has, the only negative experience of my time here at AT has definitely been the past year,” Cuthbertson said.
The drastic change in the learning environment has affected not only the students, but the staff members as well.
Faculty members have been working in the school since August, and Cuthbertson shared that she was grateful that they were able to do so, and able to keep busy during hard times, although it was completely different from anything they’ve done before.
The school year may have been very difficult to get through, but Cuthbertson is thankful for having the ability to come back and see students and staff in person, especially considering that this was her very last school year with AT.
Cuthbertson also shared her plans for her retirement. “In the next year I will be moving down to southern Illinois, because that is where my husband and I were born, and we are just going to enjoy our retirement,” she said.
“I have granddaughters that I will be visiting, and I will be able to visit with my daughter more often; we’re just going to relax.”
Although Cuthbertson looks forward to being able to visit with family more and relax, she will definitely miss the students and faculty, especially those she closely worked with and developed friendships with.
Staff Member Michele Kalbas shared her feelings on Cuthbertson’s retirement.
“I’m not accepting it,” she joked. “But in all seriousness, I will miss her a lot, I almost don’t want her to leave.”
There will clearly be a hole in our environment without her, as she has devoted so many years and has been an active part of our community. Cuthbertson did have a message that she wanted to share to AT students.
“I will miss the students, and I want them to never stop trying and working hard. I know the last year has been bad for them, but it’ll get better in time,” she said. In addition, Cuthbertson wishes the staff the best, and hopes that things will improve for us all.
As a community, we should all be sure to say goodbye to her, and wish her a happy retirement.