Building A Bridge to Her Retirement

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After 20 years at the Centre School,
educator goes from teacher to student

By Nancy Rineman

Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 26, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Centre School teacher retiring after 20 years

HAMPTON -- On a beautiful spring day just perfect for field day activities, retiring Centre School teacher Ginny Bridge guided her first-graders from one activity station to the next. With a need for one more player to even out the teams, Bridge became that player, immersed in the inter-action between herself and her students.

Bridge, who is retiring this year, has been a teacher of kindergarten and first grade at Centre School for 20 years. Before that, she taught at air bases where her husband, Tom, was stationed, in Cape Cod and upstate New York, before she found the niche that was to be her career.

"I love teaching reading, writing and math to 6 year olds," Bridge said.

Bridge has a number of interests that will help her make the transition from her classroom at Centre School to a life of retirement. One of those interests will find her as the student rather then the teacher.

Bridge said she has always been "fascinated" with weaving. In fact, she owns a floor loom. As a retirement gift, her fellow teachers gave her a gift certificate for a five-day workshop in Harrisville, where she will learn tapestry weaving from an instructor from Santa Fe. Joining the Weavers Guild of New Hampshire is another plan she hopes to set into motion, along with pursuing her longtime interest in gardening, reading and travel.

Some of that travel will occur this summer when she and her husband head to Monhegan Island for their 40th anniversary this summer.

"I'd like to do some volunteer work," Bridge added.

Bridge said she feels the dynamics of families have changed during the time she has taught.

"The demands on kids are higher," she said, while research on specific techniques "raises the bar."

"The art of teaching is to balance this, Bridge said. "There's a lot of 'testing for testing.'"

"I will miss the children," Bridge added. "When I told them I was retiring, they wanted to know how old I was. They got all sad and hugging."

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