After 41 years, Claire has hung up her gym shorts and whistle at All Saints’ Episcopal Day School in Florence to experience retirement. Her love and admiration for the students, administration, and school made her reluctant to leave, even after so many years. We set down with Claire to chat about her career at All Saints’ and her plans for retirement.
After 41 successful years, let’s go back to the beginning. What inspired you to become an educator?
“I was blessed with wonderful teachers; particularly my high school physical education teacher and an English teacher. They were what a teacher is supposed to be – dedicated to creating a learning environment that made students feel safe and loved at the same time.”
What has been the most rewarding part of your career with All Saints’?
“Being the coach for grades K3 through sixth I’ve been able to watch the children grow and improve in all phases of athletics. Seeing how the children go from being a shy, unsure three-year-old to a confident sixth-grader has been a treat!”
What were some of the most challenging parts of your All Saints’ career?
“There were no challenges too large that I didn’t enjoy taking part in! If I have to pick something it would be teaching K3 students. Like all three-year-olds, keeping them engaged for 30 minutes can be challenging! However, they always loved everything I introduced and I always felt like they loved me unconditionally!”
All Saints’ appreciation to you for the time you dedicated to the school was shown when they named the gym in your honor. Tell us how it felt to receive such an honor?
“I was humbled and surprised to have the gym named Copeland Court. It was certainly one of the greatest moments of my career.”
Tell us about retirement, what plans do you have?
“Retirement still doesn’t seem real! I’m sure it will hit me when August rolls around and I don’t have anywhere to be at any specific time. As of right now, retirement means sleeping in and spending more time with family and friends. I’m looking forward to it!”