Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, District Office, Employee Spotlight, General, Malletts Bay School, Personnel, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

A Trip Back to 1973—CSD Honors Teacher for 40 Years of Service

Colchester School District recently honored a Union Memorial School second grade teacher for forty years of service.

Superintendent Larry Waters presents Debbie Howard with a service award recognizing her forty years of service at Union Memorial School
Superintendent Larry Waters presents Debbie Howard with a service award recognizing her forty years of service at Union Memorial School

Debbie Howard began teaching at UMS in 1973. At that time, the world population was 3.937 billion, M*A*S*H and Hawaii Five-O were popular television shows, Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and The Rolling Stones’ “Angie” were topping the charts, the Sears Tower (renamed the Willis Tower in 2009) was completed (and was at that time the tallest building on the planet), the cost of a first-class stamp was $0.08, and Richard Nixon famously told the nation regarding the Watergate tapes, “I am not a crook.”

That was a long time ago! And Debbie has been teaching at UMS since that time!

“It is so hard for me to remember that I have been doing this for forty years,” she said. “I love what I do. I love this district and UMS!”

Union Memorial School's Debbie Howard
Union Memorial School’s Debbie Howard

“She’s been doing this for forty years and could easily rest on her experience and laurels; however, she is always one of the first teachers to try something new and/or adopt new teaching methods,” said UMS Principal Chris Antonicci. “For example, she has her students blogging, where a lot of people of her generation avoid computers and technology at all costs. She is simply one of the finest educators with whom I’ve ever worked, and she’s an inspiration to us all.”

“Deb Howard is remarkable,” said Superintendent Larry Waters. “She is a highly skilled teacher who has provided excellent learning experiences for her students, and I express my sincere appreciation for her forty years of service in the district.”

Debbie Howard was the only person in the district who was honored for forty years of service this year. The district honored many other employees for landmark years of service, as well.

Honored for thirty-five years of service were CMS’s Assistant Principal Peg Gillard and MBS’s Brenda Hunt and Louisa Costantino-Foley.

Honored for thirty years of service was CMS’s Mary Beth Dickinson.

Honored for twenty-five years of service were CMS’s Donnalee Barcomb and Ruth Quintin.

Honored for twenty years of service was CHS’s Jeffrey Richey.

Honored for fifteen years of service were CHS’s Kathryn Couillard and Deborah Pratt; CMS’s Cheryl Bouchard, Jennifer Giroux, Marianne Nealy, and Amy Tosch; MBS’s Luba Routsong, Jeanne Racicot, Tammy Walton, and Myrna Laurin; UMS’s Judith Hillis and Colleen Marshall; and PPS’s Priscilla Hammond.

Honored for ten years of service were CHS’s Heather Baron, Steve Davis, Elsie Ducharme, Helen-Marie Jurnak, Marijke Reilly, and Melissa Vilmont; CMS’s AnnaMary Lauricella, John Upchurch, and Paul Morin; MBS’s Carolyn Millham and Jan Wilkinson; PPS’s Jennifer Gamache, Donna Labonte, and Wendy Rogers; and district-wide employee James Lynch.





In all, thirty-seven employees were honored for their service. Given statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that the typical American stays in a job for just over four years, our employees’ years of service speak volumes. As was repeatedly expressed at the Vision Summit, it is our entire community—our employees, parents, committed citizens, and students—that shapes us.

Many, many thanks to all of our talented and dedicated employees!

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