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Future possibilities excite retiring St. Jo educator

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By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]
Few educators can look back at a career that ran the entire gambit from substitute, to teacher, coach, librarian and administrator, but for Denise Thurman she says all those experiences helped make her the educator she has become after 30 years with Saint Jo Independent School District.
Thurman, elementary principal, is retiring at the end of this school year, and will receive congratulations at a party from 3-4 p.m. on May 30 in the Saint Jo School cafeteria.
For the 50-year-old this decision to leave is “very bittersweet” because she truly loves everything about her job.
“It was a difficult decision, I struggle with it sometimes still, but I know I want to be there for my family more. This is a busy job and demands a lot of time and responsibility. Both my kids will be in college, we want to be able to travel and see them as they go through college,” explained Thurman.
Her husband of 26 years, Clint, retired two years ago as a firefighter in Richardson, but still builds fence and buildings. Cody, 21, attends Texas Tech University and Kile, is about to graduate at Saint Jo and will make a decision on college. She sees nothing but new experiences and family memories in her future.
Why a teacher?
Born in Duncan, OK, Thurman grew up in Nocona after the family moved there when she was four. After graduating high school in 1991 she attended Texas A&M-Commerce. At the same time, she began as a substitute teacher at Saint Jo and in 1995 she was hired as a paraprofessional for the high school special education classroom while she finished her degree.
With her bachelor of science degree in hand Thurman began teaching junior high English, accelerated programs at the high school and was yearbook advisor. In 1996 coaching was added to her job description for junior varsity girl’s volleyball and basketball.
When asked if she always wanted to be a teacher, Thurman says yes and no.
“I always looked up to so many of my teachers when I was growing up so the idea was there. At one point I wanted to be a pharmacist or a radiologist, but it came back to teaching,” she recalls.

Read the full feature in the weekend Bowie News.

Retiring Saint Jo Elementary Principal Denise Thurman stands in front of a colorful mural outside her office at the school. (Photo by Barbara Green)

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COUNTY LIFE

UIL maps out the ladies championships

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The top 24 girls #txhshoops teams are headed to the Alamodome this week for the #UILState Girls Basketball Championships!

🏀uiltexas.org/basketball/state-girls

The slate of teams include the Nocona High School Lady Indians.

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COUNTY LIFE

How to Guide helps you know the facts and choose wisely

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Inside the mid-week Bowie News find the How To Guide offering tips and guidance to make a selection of a service or a professional. Helpful information for your family.

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COUNTY LIFE

‘Light Through a Lens’ show reception to open

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The team at Davis & Blevins Gallery in Saint Jo will showcase the new work of eight talented photographers for the first show of 2024, “Light Through A Lens.”
This marks the gallery’s seventh annual photography-centric show and sale. It will hang through March 31 with the celebratory artist’s reception 1-4 p.m. on March 2.
This year’s show features the works of Kelly Yandell, Dave Shafer, Emily McCartney Eiguren, Debra Fox, Tim Newton, Katie Sickles Rust, Craig Nadziejka and Willetta Crowe.
Davis & Blevins is located on the town square in Saint Jo.

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