Sending Off Our Teachers

Katy Bonadio, Staff Writer

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With over 1200 students here at Carolina Forest, we have many teachers as well. Many have been here since our opening year, 1997. After this year, along with the class of 2019, there will be three teachers leaving: Jan Hucks, Latricia Clardy, and Master Chief Gruber.

Mrs. Hucks has been teaching for 28 years, and she has been teaching at Carolina Forest since 1998, just a year after it first opened. Mrs. Hucks started out by teaching half a day at Aynor Conway Career Center and half a day at Conway High School. Outside of the school, she raises goats and chickens. Mrs. Hucks is also a beekeeper; after this year she will ‘bee’ very busy.  She picked this year to retire because her National Board is expiring and now she will receive full retirement and social security. When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she was quick to reply back, “The students”.

I personally had Mrs. Hucks as a teacher, and I know how important student-teacher relationships are to her.  I am so lucky I had the chance to have Mrs. Hucks as my teacher. Her last words to leave behind at CF: “Keep having fun and enjoy your time here”.

Mrs. Clardy was born in Conway to a big family with six siblings. After graduating from high school, she began working in a bank. She then became a volunteer in her son’s kindergarten class and fell in love with the atmosphere, working with students, and the connection between student and teacher.

“I taught at Carolina Forest Middle School when it opened, teaching a math class. I fell in love with the curriculum. Mrs. Edmunds encouraged me to pursue math certification. I transferred to CF High School twelve years ago to finish my career.”

Mrs. Clardy is bringing her career to a closure so she can have time for other things.

“My two main goals are to spend time with family and work flipping houses.”

In her spare time, she wants to spend as much time as possible on the water boating, fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, or just floating down the river.

“The friends I have made over the years will never be forgotten, but I will miss the day to day conversations with fellow teachers and students. The one thing that made teaching so special to me is the relationship that I was able to have with students. They taught me a lot of life lessons, but my hopes are that I gave them something more than an education.”  

“I will always cherish my decision to become a teacher and the memories I have made over the years. CF may be large but that means we are a large family that deeply cares about each other. One piece of wisdom to my students: focus on the positive by always building on strengths because everybody is good at something.”

Master Chief Gruber has taught at Carolina Forest for 14 years, and he also taught at Conway High School for eight years for a total of teaching for 22 years. He was born and grew up in Philadelphia. Master Chief Gruber joined the U.S. Navy in 1970, and he retired in 1997 which is also when he decided to move here and teach at our school. Outside of school he likes to read, make rings out of coins, and build nanoblock buildings.

Master Chief shared some things he will miss about Carolina Forest, “The people who work here, the many talents our students display, and searching through bookbags two days a week.”

Master Chief Gruber has decided to retire after this year because of his age and because his youngest child has graduated from college. He will be spending his time painting his house, spending time with his grandson, and of course, never looking in another bookbag.

Some words of wisdom to leave for his students: “One day you will look back on your life and realize that where you are in life is an accumulation of all the decisions you have made in life, and the consequences of those decisions. So chose wisely today.”

 

Farewell, Mrs. Hucks, Mrs. Clardy and Master Chief Gruber!  You will be missed.

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