Cathy Burdette is retiring with a total of 29 years in education. Cathy spent seven years as a counselor at Kaplan High School and the last 22 years as a Rene Rost Middle School fifth grade science, social studies, and math teacher.
Throughout her career, Cathy developed a love for her coworkers and her students.
She remarks, “I liked the fact that the kids always made me laugh. I liked the fact that they had enthusiasm and an energy level that I fed on. It gave me a sense of purpose. Their smiles were contagious. I loved my job, and I was very emotional about leaving.”
Burdette now plans to spend her retirement time taking yoga, walking, spending time with her grandchildren, and following her husband around on his out of state jobs.
Joyce Desormeaux has spent her 20 year career at Rene Rost Middle teaching fifth and seventh grade reading and language, as well as in-school suspension.
She will spend her newly found free time visiting with her children and grandchildren, and does plan to return to work eventually although she is uncertain as to which line of work she will commit herself.
Desormeaux comments, “I will miss my coworkers the most.”
Over Sandra Hebert’s 20 year teaching career, she spent one year at Forked Island E. Broussard and the remainder at Rene Rost Middle.
Hebert taught three years self-contained and the remainder focused on reading, world history, US history and social studies.
Sandra admits, “My students always kept me in tune with life.”
Hebert’s most memorable moment was when she was accidently trapped in her classroom, due to a broken door handle, for over two hours while working late one evening.
Thankfully, the principal returned to school and she alerted him to her presence by flicking her classroom lights.
The Kaplan Fire Department had to be called in to rescue her.
She will now work as a yoga instructor and spend her free time with her grandchildren.
Eloise Montero is a relative newcomer to Rene Rost Middle School, teaching special education for the past three years, but she’s a veteran of the Vermilion Parish school system having taught for 20 years. She also has 26 years of experience in parochial education.
Eloise is also a reflexologist, and is currently studying Acu kinesiology. Montero will spend her retirement pursuing this new career path.
Eloise reveals, “I enjoyed working in Kaplan and Vermilion Parish a lot. This last year was extremely pleasurable. My coworkers were all accommodating and helpful. I had worked with David Dupuy previously at JH Williams, and I enjoyed working for him.”
Myrna Simon has taught a total of 34 years in Kaplan, spending the majority of it at Rene Rost Middle instructing fifth and sixth graders in language arts and social studies.
Simon jokes, “My three goals for my first year of retirement is to accomplish, as soon as possible, one: nothing, two: nothing, and three: nothing!”
She further reveals that her passions are cooking, gardening, walking, and spending time with her family. Myrna also wants to spend retirement traveling with her husband.
She shares one of her most memorable moments in the classroom, “Young children somehow want to be related to their teacher. One day a young boy came up to me and said, ‘Mrs. Myrna, I think we are related. My step-mom’s step-dad’s niece is married to a Simon.’ ‘Wow,’ I said, ‘that must make us first cousins.’ His expression was priceless.”
Overall, all five teachers had one thing in common – a genuine love for their respected profession and for the children of our community. It takes a wonderfully patient and caring person to instruct the youth; and the Vermilion Parish School Board, in regards to Rene Rost Middle, certainly has big shoes to fill.