Teacher retires after 45 years teaching Ore City children

East Texas News at 6.
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT

ORE CITY, Texas (KLTV) - It’s no surprise to hear that teaching is a challenging job according to many educators. So when one hangs in there for 45 years at the same school district, there’s going to be quite a retirement party.

Raeann Handy is from Temple, not Ore City, but she’s been teaching there since the 1970s.

“I started here in 1974-75,” Handy said.

She’s taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and ESL. She liked teaching the very young.

“The students are starting out. I wanted to start them out. I felt like God wanted me to start them out,” Handy said.

And as far as the crowd that showed up for her retirement party, well:

“A lot of these people I’ve taught. And I’ve taught their kids. And since I went to ESL I didn’t get very many of their grandkids, but I saw them up here,” Handy said.

In fact, there was one former student present, Chris Barton who is now:

“A member of the school board,” Barton said.

And he feels maybe a bit privileged since he:

“Was in her very first class,” Barton said.

And he has memories of her class.

“I remember her realizing I was color blind and giving me a color test,” Barton said.

She says she has no favorite student.

“It’s cliche, but they’re special in their own way. I’ve had some kids that were problems, but you see through that. You work through that, and hope what you can give them they can take with them,” Handy said.

Raeanne says she appreciates how many former students remember her as their teacher.

“Rewarding, too, is to be out in public, at a business, and oh, there’s somebody helping me, at the hospital, for your cars, everywhere. That’s why I get sentimental,” Handy said.

And after countless hugs and smiles she said her goodbye.

“God put me on Earth to help people. And so, I try to help when I can. I’ll give you one big hug,” Handy said in front of the crowd.

She may not be starting out the new ones anymore, but there are hundreds of parents and grandparents out there that might pass on something learned in Mrs. Handy’s class.

Handy says she will now have the time for her interests including growing plants, crafts, raising animals, taking better care of herself and baking.

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