PINSON, Ala. (WBRC) - A longtime Hewitt-Trussville High School teacher is retiring after more than four decades in the classroom.
Simona Herring had been flirting with the idea of retirement for the last few years, but her love of teaching and her students kept her coming back year-after-year.
But after COVID-19 hit, Mrs. Herring started thinking that this may be the best time to leave the classroom.
It’s a moment 45 years in the making.
“I’ve taught at Rutledge Middle School. I taught seventh and eighth grade there for a few years, and then I taught at Southern Junior College. I was head of the English Department, and then the last 34 years at Hewitt-Trussville High School,” Herring said.
The beloved teacher has taught English, Speech, Debate and Literature throughout her decades-long career.
She even wrote the Speech curriculum for Jefferson County years ago.
Herring said she often joked about calling it quits along the way, and COVID-19 played a small role in helping her make the final decision.
“When COVID did kick in and we had to do our lessons online, I thought, ‘Oh, I don’t like this at all.’ I mean…I’m doing it. It’s a lot of work, I don’t mind, but I miss my kids. I’m not interacting with them. I’m putting assignments on the computer, they’re doing their work, we’re writing to each other, but I miss their laughter, and their faces, and their hugs. And I thought, ‘This is not fun. Are they even getting what they need to get?‘” Herring said.
And though this may be farewell to the classroom…
“I’m not going anywhere. You know, if they need me for tutoring, or they need me for help, I’m available. They know where to find me. I’ll still be a part of Hewitt-Trussville forever,” said Herring.
So, what do you do after 45 years in the classroom?
Mrs. Herring said she plans to spend more time with her family, and of course, catch her breath. She said she’d also like to tutor veterans to help them get their GED.