For three years, Floyd Harrison tried to convince his wife, Bonnie Harrison, to retire from her post as a first-grade teacher at Evans Elementary School.
He finally succeeded this year.
"We've got five grandkids that live away from here," he said.
In her tenure of almost 38 years as an educator, Mrs. Harrison spent 23 years as a first-grade teacher at Evans.
On June 22, Mrs. Harrison's family honored her with a retirement reception at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. Several mementos were on display, including a book of class photos. Mr. Harrison said his wife told him in February or March that she would like to have a class photo from each year she taught.
He tracked them all down except one, he said.
Mrs. Harrison said she would like to volunteer at Evans Elementary next year to help pupils who are struggling academically.
"It's pure determination and stamina. She's not the kind to sit down," her husband said.
Marilyn Huff has known Mrs. Harrison as a parent and co-worker. One of her three children had Mrs. Harrison as a teacher, and Huff has taught kindergarten at Evans for three years.
"She is the grandmotherly type," Huff said. "She never gets in a hurry. She always has time for anybody."
Huff also said her colleague was the mentor for new teachers at Evans Elementary. She made sure the new teachers knew the school policies, answered their questions and touched base with them regularly, Huff said.
Margie Michau, who served as Mrs. Harrison's paraprofessional for 20 years, called her a "devoted, dedicated" teacher who was like a second mother to her pupils.
"She is the ultimate first-grade teacher that every child should have," Michau said.
Staff writer Scott Trubey contributed to this story.
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