Thirty-eight years of Easton students will remember Elizabeth Ustie for her singing, M&Ms and for holding their shaking hands while they tried to light a bunson burner.
"I try to make the world around them so they understand it," says Ustie, who used M&Ms as memory aids in her physical science classroom.
"How can I have kids remember the millimeter? I equated it with what they enjoythe M&M. I used it as an incentive and encouragement," says Ustie, who is stepping down as a teacher.
She enjoyed changing the environment in her classroom and showing kids a different side of a teacher.
She has enjoyed "how students have impacted and touched my lifeand it's something I don't think they've realized," Ustie says, her eyes full of tears. "I love the memories and feeling that they know you care."
Clearing out her room is not something Ustie is looking forward to"I think it's going to be hard bringing closure. This is a career that I love," she says. As president of the Easton Education Association for 30 years, Ustie has also come to know the administrators in the school system very well. She hopes to become a member of the Connecticut Education Association.
"I'm going to miss the kids, my colleagues and the administrators. I'm going to miss everything except my alarm clock," says Ustie. "I wear my heart on my sleeveeven though I'm a rough, tough cream puff."
She's starting a different path in life and will be traveling, visiting family, reading and practicing photography. She and colleagues Roberta Cioppa and Jean King have been going on bike tours for 20 years. Eleven years ago they did their first tour in Europe, and Ustie hopes to do more of that in her retirement.
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