The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 20, 2013

Six say goodbye to N. Vermillion

CAYUGA, Ind. — Six teachers with nearly 200 years of experience will walk out of North Vermillion Elementary School for the final time later this month.

Ironically, the six have taught in no other district. They have taught at either North Vermillion Elementary School, North Vermillion High School or the former Cayuga, Highland and Newport grade schools.

Retiring are Sandy Carmichael, Angela Crowder, Linda Hohe, Cheryl Huey, Jeanne Swaney and Eleanor Wesch.

“This is all I wanted to do,” Huey said. She said it is time to retire after you start teaching second- and third-generation students.

“I have had hundreds of experiences,” she said. “This year I have a little boy who is very articulate, but they all are special.”

She said the move to the consolidated elementary school was a good one.

“It took us a couple years to get adjusted,” she said. “I had taught at all three (former) schools.”

She looks forward to traveling. especially visiting her children in Michigan and Ohio.

“I knew at an early age I wanted to work with kids,” Crowder said. “There were 26 in our family in education.”

Her father, Bill Kilgore, was her first principal.

“When my dad was principal, I got stuck with all the jobs,” she said.

An amusing incident came when one of her students said, “Mrs. Crowder wears L’eggs (a type of pantihose).”

She looks forward to visiting her grandchildren in Madison. She enjoys camping and boating. She has worked during the summers at Raccoon Lake State Park east of Rockville.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work there,” she said. She works as a clerk.

Carmichael graduated from college with a home economics degree and worked in the Cooperative Extension Service for10 years before going back to school to get her teaching license.

“I wanted to work with kids,” she said, “but to do elementary I had to go back to get a certificate.”

She said there was nothing special about her teaching.

“They are just kids,” she said, “but now I am getting grandkids of kids.”

Her hobby is sewing. She and her husband show cattle, and they are going to New Zealand with a cattle group this year.

Swaney always wanted to be a band director, but she repeatedly was told that was a man’s world.

“They told me I would end up with the choir,” she said.

She proved them wrong.

“I knew what I wanted to do since I was 9 years old,” she said. “I have done it all.”

She was high school music teacher and band director at North Vermillion High School before moving over to the elementary school five years ago.

“I really enjoyed the band,” she said. She took them on six trips to Florida for competitions, going every four years.

“It was fun with the younger kids,” she said.

She helped form the Wabash Valley Area Band in 1992, and she will continue to direct it at least through the summer season.

She looks forward to spending time with her husband and grandchildren.

Art is a passion for Wesch.

“I just love making things with the children,” she said. “They are like little sponges. They get so excited.”

As the only art teacher in the grade school, she tried to expose the students to all kinds of art.

“That was inspiring,” she said. Student art was featured in the hallways and in her classroom.

“We used to do extra projects, but it is hard to do the extra thing,” she said.

She has a small art studio at her home west of Cayuga and hopes to continue to teach adults and children.

She will participate in an art show in Chicago this summer, and she hopes to do one in Louisville, Ky., later.

Hohe also came to the elementary school after a long tenure at the high school. While at the high school, she coached basketball, volleyball and swimming.

“I remember the big wins,” she said. “We won 14 sectional and conference titles.”

She worked a year as a secretary after graduating from high school and decided she didn’t want to do that the rest of her life.

“I was in the first group of women to get athletic scholarships (at Huntington University),” she said.

Hohe is writing a book on the differences in teaching the younger students. She plans to move back to Huntington, Ind.

Her hobbies are yard work, gardening and crafts.

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