A Pioneer in Teaching Ends His Reign

The saying "history repeats itself" seems to describe the life of Edgewood history teacher Ted James.

For 28 years, James has taught Edgewood seventh graders the intricacies of Texas history while also making room for them to learn hands on. If you ask someone in Edgewood about Pioneer Day, most can tell you it's the day when seventh graders dress up like pioneers and live as the early settlers did.

It's a day when you'll find only pies, breads and pioneer-like dishes on the lunch table. And Indian leg wrestling and competitive tug-of-war matches in the gymnasium.

But Friday also marked an inevitable and sad moment in Edgewood history--the now retiring Coach James headed his last Pioneer Day.

"I told him you really have to wait until my youngest son goes through seventh grade before you retire," recalls Teresa Thompson, a former Edgewood student and Pioneer Day graduate.

And it's not just the students who will miss James, the parents have also wrapped their hearts around James and Pioneer Day.

"My father came here and had his first Pioneer Day here," recalls seventh grader Justin King."My mom also had him, and my older cousins."

Teresa Thompson put it simply saying, "Coach James is a part of Edgewood."

James and his wife are both retiring from teaching to spend time with family. Even though James plans on handing Pioneer Day over to another, students expect he'll pop in every now and then.

Kerri Panchuk, Reporting.