St. Vincent de Paul School Says Goodbye to Two Longtime Teachers
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic school in Brooklyn Park honored two longtime teachers on Tuesday. Deb Schlicksup and Claudia Chalmers, who have a combined 61 years of teaching experience, are retiring at the end of the school year.
“I don’t think, for me anyway, there is a better profession than teaching,” said Schlicksup, who has taught for 26 years at St. Vincent de Paul.
Schlicksup taught first grade for nine years before teaching third-grade students.
“I love working with the kids. I know that we really impact their lives in many ways,” she said. “But they also give to us, to me as a teacher. And I have learned every year from each and every one of my students, as much as they would probably say they have learned over the course of the year.”
Seventh and eighth-grade English teacher Claudia Chalmers is also retiring. Chalmers spent 35 years with St. Vincent. She says it will be difficult transition next fall when she won’t be welcoming kids to her classroom.
“I won’t miss teaching nouns every year. I certainly won’t miss teaching them how to write a research paper. But I will those faces coming in the door every day. I will miss their senses of humor, as odd as they can be sometimes. I’ll miss their ups and downs because working with teenagers is a rollercoaster every single day. But it keeps you feeling alive and I will miss that,” said Chalmers.
Principal Maggie Dawson says the school is losing two teachers who helped mentor younger instructors.
“It’s losing two phenomenal veteran teachers, one in each hallway, primary and middle school,” said Dawson. “The love and dedication to Catholic schools is what’s being lost here.”
The teaching by Schlicksup and Chalmers has impacted multiple generations. Each of the retiring teachers have had students who grew up and had their own kids who attended St. Vincent de Paul.