By Nancy Rineman
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 5, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Photo by Nancy Rineman]
HAMPTON -- Roland Tremblay, teacher extraordinaire, is preparing to say "so long" to his students at Marston Elementary School, but many would agree that he probably will never lose his penchant for teaching, or for learning.
Tremblay has been Marston's computer/lab teacher for the past nine years. Before that, he was a fourth-grade teacher for 29 years, the first four in Seabrook and these past 25 at Marston School.
Although it has been a 38-year ride for Tremblay as a teacher, he entered his chosen profession in a less than traditional manner.
His graduation from St. Marie's High School in Manchester was followed by five years of work in a shoe shop, combined with correspondence courses from the Drexel School of Communication in Chicago.
A stint in the Army as a sergeant with a year in Vietnam preceded his position as a quality control inspector for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft at Manchester Airport.
Keene State College was Tremblay's next rung on the ladder to his goal as an educator and it was in 1975, while at Marston, that he completed his master's work in reading and elementary education at UNH.
Tremblay said it was while he was in the Army that his passion for teaching was born.
"When I was in Vietnam I visited Chinese schools and Vietnamese schools," Tremblay said. "I liked what I saw."
"I tutored some kids in French," he added.
That passion for teaching has stayed with Tremblay all these years.
"I'm not counting the days," Tremblay said regarding his upcoming retirement. "I like what I do."
"There's never been a day when I didn't want to go to school," he continued.
"Every day when I woke up, I was always anxious to see the kids. Out of 38 years, every day was a good day. There were bumps, but that's OK," Tremblay said.
Tremblay went on to say that his retirement letter was one of the very few that was read aloud at a meeting of the Hampton School Board. In the letter, he expressed his sadness at announcing his retirement, and his continued love of the job.
Tremblay's "extracurricular activities" include his violinist position with New Horizons String Ensemble, in conjunction with Portsmouth Music & Arts. He started taking violin lessons just a few years ago on the violin that had been his father's and his father's father before that.
"I want to learn more," Tremblay said, which is why he plans on pursuing music studies at UNH. It's something he says will enhance his background in music and "improve his mind." He plans on putting his musical talent to use by visiting nursing homes and assisted living facilities, much as he does now.
Tremblay and his wife, Jan, who met in college at Keene State, have bought a home in Florida for a winter getaway, but they have plenty to do in the summer months at their Hampton home.
"We grow vegetables," Roland Tremblay said. "And 33 hybrids of blueberries."
He'll also have a bit more time to be with his children, daughter, Jessica, sons Christopher and William, and grandchildren, Gavin and Lindsey.
And since Tremblay began his teaching career in a somewhat different manner, what will be the first thing he does once he's officially retired?
"I'm having a hip replacement," he answered.
Tremblay said with such a long career at Marston School, he has had "his kids and his kids' kids."
"I'd love to see my former students at my home on Mill Road in Hampton," Tremblay said.