100+ years of education experience retiring

Published 05/28 2013 06:05PM

Updated 05/29 2013 11:04AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Leaders at Edison Middle School are passing the torch. Three teachers, a counselor and an associate principal are all retiring this year. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw meets the experienced educators.

In all their years teaching, they've grown to be a tight-knit group, complete with a nickname. Inside Edison, Trenna Thomas, Julie Wallace, Linda Robinson, Rosalee Otto and Vernita Curry-Taylor are known as the Fab Five.

"I would say that's right, definitely."

Edison principal, Justin Uppinghouse, will be the first to tell you, they live up to the name. Combined, the five has more than 100-years experience working with students. Each has been at Edison at least 14-years.

"When I first started here, I was a P.E. teacher."

"They already have that built-in relationship with our kids because they'd had a sibling, or parents that they've worked with, and they hit the ground running to work with them."

For many of the Fab Five, teaching is in their blood.

"My first day of school in kindergarten, I went home to my parents, who were teachers at the time, and I said, 'can I go back?' Not knowing I would be going to school for 50-years of my life."

So, putting away the books won't be easy. The five retire in a few days.

"Having been a teacher for so many years, it's part of who I am. I'm not quite sure how that's going to feel."

"I give my hugs every day. That's one of the things I'm going to miss."

They leave behind some big shoes to fill and a great example to follow.

"It gives us an opportunity to see what great teachers and great staff look like."

The Fab Five has more than 100-years of experience, which is longer than Edison has been standing!

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