Retiring – Cheryl Duplissa


Kai Hemingway, Editor

Cheryl Duplissa is a grade 1-2 teacher at St. Albans Town Educational Center and was employed on 9 September, 1985. 

Duplissa has not just been a teacher at SATEC, she’s had another teaching experience as well.

I have been teaching at St. Albans Town School for 35 years. I began teaching in Kindergarten in 1985 when K-4th grades were housed at the St. Albans Bay School. 

Because of all her years of teaching, Duplissa thought of her favorite aspect of it with ease.

“My favorite things about teaching are the children and how they develop as learners. I enjoyed building relationships with students. I have been blessed to watch so many children grow through their learning journeys, guiding and nurturing them through challenges and discoveries, and having been a part of those amazing moments of learning and understanding. Their smiles (and hugs) when they knew they reached the pinnacle of a personal goal were the best rewards I could have ever received,” Duplissa said.

With all her years of teaching, Duplissa definitely has some fun stories to tell.

“I have many great stories from teaching young children. One of my favorites is from my early years when I taught Kindergarten. I was doing a unit on “Then and Now”. I put a vinyl record album on a record player before the Kindergarteners entered the classroom. When they came in, one little guy ran over to the record player and enthusiastically yelled, “Wow! That’s the biggest CD I have ever seen!” Duplissa said. 

While looking back in time, Duplissa recalls what she believes to be her greatest achievement.

“I believe my greatest achievement during my time teaching was knowing that my own learning and development as a teacher was an ongoing lifetime process. I feel satisfied knowing that I kept up with all the changes in education over the years, by continuing to refresh myself, gain a renewed perspective and implement my new learning. One of my lifetime dreams to aid in this process was to obtain my Master’s Degree. Though late in my career, I finally achieved this personal goal. It was a rejuvenating experience. In order for my students to understand they are lifelong learners, it was important for me to model this,” Duplissa said. 

Because of her love for all her classes, Duplissa has a hard time choosing a favorite.

“I began my career teaching Kindergarten at the St. Albans Bay School. When we moved to SATEC I taught Kindergarten for a few more years, then first and second grades for the rest of my career. I cannot choose, as there was something I loved about each,” Duplissa said.

As her time as a teacher comes to a close, Duplissa looks ahead to her future and retirement.

“I mostly look forward to having the time to spend with my family and friends. I am especially looking forward to being able to spend quality time with my two young granddaughters,” Duplissa said. 

With her hardwork and dedication, Duplissa hopes that she has already achieved her greatest accomplishment.

“I hope I already accomplished it. I always desired to be a teacher. I feel I’ve put my heart and soul into my job, in hopes that I made a positive impact on many little learners along the way. I am hopeful I planted the seeds for having my students believe in themselves, and that they can become anything they choose to be. Also to be positive, responsible, and caring citizens in school and in the community,” Duplissa said. 

As she leaves SATEC, Duplissa doesn’t want to take a physical item, but something of the heart.

“I would take the passion I see in every adult who works at SATEC. I have spent my entire teaching career in St. Albans Town, mostly because of the people I have worked with over the years. My colleagues exhibit a passion for teaching and taking care of each other. They continually motivate and empower children in the learning process, so students can discover their own passions and achieve anything they set their mind to. They deeply care about each child, family, and colleague as they would their own. This is due to their passion,” Duplissa said.

Duplissa chooses to leave behind something else from the heart for future generations.

“I hope that I leave behind a legacy of kindness and caring for the children, their families and my colleagues. I think I created a class environment that was safe, fun, empowering, and engaging, where all members felt valued and respected. I feel as though I was there for my students, families and colleagues when they needed me,” Duplissa said.

Even while planning her retirement, Duplissa thinks about the positive impact she can continue to bring to the community.

“Like most retirees, I plan on taking time to participate in all the hobbies I love, but never seemed to have the time to participate in, as well as travel with my husband. Also, in this next chapter of my life my aspirations continue to evolve around children. I have a passion for good children’s literature, and the desire for children to love books. I have always wanted to be a “Story Lady” at a children’s ward in a hospital and/or write and possibly illustrate a children’s book.’

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank all who have crossed my path during my 35 years in education. Each one of you positively impacted me on my journey, allowing me to have a rich, fulfilled career. A special thank-you to David MacCallum for hiring me 35 years ago,” Duplissa said.

If you’d like to leave a personal message for Cheryl Duplissa, send her an email at [email protected] or send a letter to SATEC at 169 South Main Street, St.Albans City, in care of Cheryl Duplissa.