Though she’s going to miss seeing her students grow in their love of books, Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary librarian Sue Race said it’s time for her to move on.
Sitting in the library she’s managed and maintained for the past 10 years at the school on Thursday, Race said she made the decision to retire after 20 years in the Kyrene School District sometime last year.
She has spent a total of 30 years in education.
“I’ve had a wonderful time here, it’s been a ball,” said Race, 62, who is excited to spend time with her husband and family. “I love the teachers and the kids, I’ll miss the kids so much.”
Offering an element of fun while teaching students, like using sock puppets, reading books in sing-song style and dancing, Race believes librarians need to make the library a place where kids want to be.
“Librarians have a bad rap of being very strict and serious,” she said. “I try to make it a fun place, and kids can learn in a fun way.”
Taking pride in her library, after working for the past decade to maintain, organize and provide “good literature” to students, Race said leaving the library will also be hard.
“What’s memorable is when kids say to me, ‘You’ve really inspired me to be a librarian,’” said Race, holding back tears. “That’s important, my job is to make them love learning and reading.”
Also teaching core classes to kindergarten through fifth grade students at Monte Vista, 15221 S. Ray Road, Race said the role of school librarians has evolved over the years.
Currently teaching more than 20 classes along with library and media technician Wendy Nichols, Race has grown close to students moving through elementary grades.
“The library is like the hub of the school,” said Nichols. “All of the teachers need her help with various projects.”
Though she has only worked with Race for the past year, Nichols said Race was loved by the whole student body.
During a lab where his fifth-grade class was working on geography projects with Race and Nichols on Thursday, student E.J. Hartley said he’s really going to miss his teacher and librarian.
“We will never have a librarian as good, as nice, and as caring as her.”
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