May 23, 2012ALTON — Forty-three years is a long time, and on Sunday, May 20, a celebration was held to celebrate Marilyn St. Cyr's career in education that spanned more than four decades.
The celebration was held at Sandy Point Restaurant and St. Cyr, who was has been the guidance director in the Alton school system for the last 18 years, is retiring this year.
She was joined by friends, family and past colleagues to celebrate her retirement and was showered with gifts.
She began her career by teaching math at Merrimack High School, spent the next 14 years in Pelham, first teaching math, then as a guidance counselor and then as the guidance director. While working in Pelham she received her Masters in Education and Counseling from Rivier College.
In 1994, she started at Alton Central School and moved to Prospect Mountain High School in 2004 when it opened.
She has been debating retiring for the past couple of years and is looking forward to traveling with her husband David, who retired four years ago.
"I am looking forward to having some free time, doing traveling and figuring out what I want to do," St. Cyr said. "We are going to be traveling to places that we haven't been before."
St. Cyr will definitely miss the staff and students that she worked with over the years.
"I will really miss seeing all the staff members that I have worked with, some of them for a long time," St. Cyr added. "I will certainly miss working with the students because I have been doing that for a long time."
Words of encouragement, stories and gifts were given during the celebration.
St. Cyr and her husband sat in a pair of Adirondack chairs during the celebration that were given by her children, Jeff, Bryce and Meghan.
Cathy Bond, a guidance counselor at PMHS, thanked St. Cyr for her years of service recalled one of her go to phrases, "Make sure you cover all of your bases."
"You were completely devoted to the students on your watch," Bond said of St. Cyr's years of service.
Bond calculated that during 32 years working in guidance she had worked with 14 different superintendents, 12 different principals and approximately 3,500 students.
St. Cyr was given trash bags and cleaning supplies to clean out her office by janitorial staff at PMHS.
Letters were read from Tom Stevens, the band director at PMHS, and from the former school resource officers that St. Cyr worked with over the years.
Peter Long, the foreign language director, thanked her for her years of service.
Chris MacStravic, a math teacher at PMHS, presented passages from a book called "Flipping Brilliant."
Sara Thorne, a science teacher, thanked her for support of AP classes and help in designing PMHS.
Pamela Comeau, who works in the IT department, presented her words in Twitter speak and got a laugh from the crowd.
Cindy Mitchell, a retired teacher encouraged St. Cyr to enjoy her retirement.
Andrea Caruso, an English teacher, said that the school will be a little less without her.
Kim Kelliher presented a gift of the book "The Giving Tree."
Mike Folan who was vice-principal at ACS for fours years joked about forgetting her name during a ceremony and switching offices and the bullet hole, which was referenced several times during the celebration.
Steve Guyer, the principal at the Lakes Region Technology Center, presented her several gifts to help her in her retirement, including a roll of pink duct tape, pink cleaning gloves and a work belt.
There were many other heartfelt words and St. Cyr got quite emotional during the ceremony.
Tim Croes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126