By BARBARA GREEN
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)
Christmas Festival comes to Bowie this weekend
Bowie will be filled with holiday cheer this week as the 32nd annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Festival comes to town to herald the start of the holidays Dec. 1-3.
This festival was one of the first in North Texas to feature a lighted Christmas parade and the activities have only grown through the years. Across three days there are activities to be enjoyed by the entire family. This year’s theme is “Sweet Tidings of Gingerbread.”
Sip & Stroll
The Gingerbread Sip & Stroll With Me will feature more than 40 downtown participating locations from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 1. There also will be a storefront decorating contest following a gingerbread theme.
The Bowie Economic Development Open House from 4 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 with light refreshments.
Enjoy Pancakes with Santa from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. at the Bowie Fire Hall, 203 Walnut Street, then visit the Bowie Library for Elf’n Magic, crafts and stories for kids and families.
The parade is at 7 p.m. There will be live music onstage downtown starting at 5 p.m. and the tree lighting at 6:45 p.m.
The Christmas Tour of Homes will be on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at the Bowie Chamber office, Walters Surveying, Swaim Surveying, any Amity member at at a home.
Read the full story on the schedule in your mid-week Bowie News.
Nocona Rural VFD prepares to serve fish
It’s time for the annual Nocona Rural Volunteer Fire Department fish fry from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the H.J. Justin Community Room.
It is all you can eat fish, calf fries, french fries, beans, cole slaw and their famous tarter sauce. Prices are $15 for ages 12 and up, $12 for ages 6-12 and those under 6 eat free.
The department also is collecting children’s toys for Christmas.
Save a trip and bring an unwrapped toy to the fish fry or drop it off at 217 Clay by Dec. 2.
Wreaths Across America deadline is Nov. 30; ceremony on Dec. 16
Nov. 30 is the deadline to order a wreath that will be laid on the grave of a veteran at Elmwood Cemetery on Dec. 16.
This annual ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on Dec. 16 with guest speaker Bryan Chisholm, ag teacher at Bowie High School and veteran. The Amity Club coordinate the Wreath project and invite anyone to attend and help lay the wreaths on the many graves at the cemetery.
Individuals who wish to sponsor a wreath can do so for $17. A family can purchase four at $68, 10 for $170 and a corporate sponsorship of 100 can be made for $1,700.
Deadline to purchase a wreath is Nov. 30. Call Angela Short at 940-841-1315 with questions.
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