Times Staff Reporter
In the fall of 1968, Don and Marian Harrison began their 40-year trek in the Brazil teaching community and will retire at the end of this school year.
For his first 22 years, Don taught English at Northview High School and then became the school's guidance counselor.
"I have always wanted to be a teacher and have always loved education," Don said.
Marian spent 14 years teaching fourth- and sixth-grades at East Side Elementary.
During the course of the next 26 years; she was the librarian at both ESE and Meridian Elementary School.
Her current title is the Media Specialist and librarian at both schools.
"I was a cadet teacher my senior year in high school and that sealed the deal for me," Marian said, "Back when I started, girls were not allowed to wear skirts unless the radio said it was zero degrees out."
Marian gets grants to fund her reading program where students receive a new book at the end of the year to learn the value of reading.
She also rewards the classes who have earned the most blue ribbons by turning their books in on time with a pizza party.
For Don, the rewards come from students whom graduated 30 years ago and they tell him about the success in their life.
Don believes that politicians have placed too much importance on state wide standardized testing and believes it has not helped to improve education.
"Education is more than filling in bubbles," Don said.
Over the years, things have changed in the schools and Marian feels the two biggest changes for her are the fact that there are no more ditto machines and today she couldn't live without her e-mail to communicate with everyone.
Asked what advice they could give to students, "Follow your dreams and achieve as much as they (students) can," Marian said.
"Education is the key to what they (students) want. It is important to remember to use their education to the fullest," Don said.
Both Don and Marian are Brazil natives, raised their family here and will enjoy their retirement here.
"Brazil is a good place to raise a family, having roots are important and we are blessed to have stayed here," Don said.
They are planning a trip to celebrate their retirement.