Judy Perrin and Paulette Watson, Riverside teachers, are getting ready to say goodbye as they make their plans for retirement at the end of the school year. Both have spent their teaching careers at Riverside. Mrs. Perrin is a junior high English teacher and Mrs. Watson teaches junior and senior high art.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Mrs. Perrin of Monette has taught at Riverside for 20 years.
Teaching was her second career. She was 40 years old when she started to college to become a teacher.
She graduated from Arkansas State University in 1990. She taught two years in the YOU summer youth organization before taking a position at Riverside. She started teaching seventh, 10th and 12th grade English and moved to Junior High when Mrs. Jennings retired.
"The Lord put me here for a reason," she said. "I love my kids and I love teaching."
Mrs. Perrin sings with the women's gospel quartet Alleluia.
Her plans for retirement include teaching the Lord's Word on line.
"The Lord has dropped on me to teach His word on line," she said. "This shocks me because I am not good at the computer."
She will learn what she needs to do and go from there on the computer.
Mrs. Perrin said her thoughts were she would start to college and see if she could do it. Well, she not only did it, she made the Dean's List.
She moved to Arkansas from Illinois in 1975 and worked at Frolic Footwear for seven years and on a hog farm they owned before deciding to go to college. She and her husband, the late Frank Perrin, were married for 42 years.
She was always a full time mother raising two children. She now has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
"I have enjoyed my time teaching and now I am ready to let the younger generation teach," she said.
Paulette Watson, Riverside junior and senior high art teacher, will be retiring at the end of the school year with 25 years in the classroom.
She is ready to go into a new chapter of her life.
It was always art for Mrs. Watson, she never even considered anything else.
She graduated from Caraway High School in 1972 and has spent her 25 years of teaching at Riverside.
She split her time between the Caraway junior high campus and the Lake City senior high campus.
"I would have loved to move into the new building but it came a year too late," she said. "I wish the best for the new art teacher and students. I want my students to go forward and continue to excel in art."
She has had several students to go on and become art teachers and pursue other careers in the field of art.
Mrs. Watson worked for 12 years at Lepanto Garment Factory. She started to college at night but soon discovered it would take her too long. She started full time one summer and earned a four year degree in two years once she got serious.
"I took 21 hours one semester and it was very hard," she said.
She is married to Charles Watson and they have one daughter, Sarah. Sarah is married to Derek McMasters.
Included in Mrs. Watson's new phase is her first grandchild scheduled to arrive in October.
She plans to baby sit and do volunteer work. She is a member of Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro and there is always something to do.
She also has a home studio where she offers art classes.
She does not rule out more college. She has always loved school and learning. She may look into taking computer classes.
She has enjoyed teaching but is looking forward to the next chapter.