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Over the years Elsberry R-II School District has been blessed to have some of the best educators around, but as the 2012-2013 academic school year comes to an end, students, faculty, staff and residents are being forced to say goodbye to some or their most dedicated teachers.One of these greats is Kenneth Peine, who has served the school for approximately 40 years in a realm of different areas. But possibly one of his greatest was that of an art teacher.
“This is tough,” said Peine. “It’s always hard to leave something you’ve had a passion for and loved and I have to say my years at Elsberry, this has been my life. It’s bitter sweet but I guess in a way I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life.”
Another inspirational teacher, who has been a long time figure in the Elsberry School District and retiring after this school year, is Wade Grimes. When asked how he felt about leaving after 42 years of teaching, he simply said, “I am too busy with day to day stuff to give it any thought. Check back with me later.”
It would seem neither one of these men know what to expect next but what they both share is a lifetime of memories and sculpted minds. In fact, Grimes has worked in many different fields; Sociology, Psychology, American Government, World Geography, Recent US History, Economics, World History, Economics, Contemporary Issues, Social Problems, Advanced Psychology and Media Production. But his favorite since day one in 1971 was Sociology and Psychology, which both have been duel credit classes since 1991.
Grimes also served as the coordinator for Pike and Lincoln Media Network, a consortium of local schools using distant learning and live interactive video technologies.
“In 1984 Elsberry became the second school in the state of Missouri to have a cable TV station and I was its engineer, director and producer,” said Grimes. “We were Channel 18 LCR-2 on the community cable system. We broadcasted a 24/7 school announcement bulletin board, with live FM radio feed from a St. Louis station along with scheduled live weather announcements from NOAA (national weather bureau from St. Louis). From time to time we interrupted that schedule and would broadcast live NASA space shuttle feeds of the astronauts or other satellite program feeds.”
Grimes went on to say how their ratings soared during the basketball season when they would do live broadcasts with
play-by-play announcers. He said his crew would even travel to big away games to tape and play back later on their cable channel.
“Around 1999 we did a live TV remote broadcast feed from Silex to Channel 18,” said Grimes. “It was also live on the internet and upon checking our web hits, after the game, our most remote viewer was in Japan.”
For Peine, there were so many fond memories in Elsberry he had a hard time trying to narrow it down to just a few.
“There are just so many things that come to mind but possibly one of my best memories, which I stumbled on by accident was our mural project,” said Peine. “When I first came here I had lots of talented kids and I have had lots of talented kids since, but I was looking for something special to do.”
According to Peine, they started the project in the classroom after the superintendent at the time let them paint a wall. Peine said he simply said if the super didn’t like it, they would paint over it. But one quickly became four and four became the entire school.
“I knew once we started they wouldn’t ever stop,” said Peine with a big grin. “It got to a point where we knew they weren’t going to paint them out and frankly they liked it, the kids loved them and I believe so did everyone else.”
Before he knew it, he and his students had filled up the rooms and the halls with art all done by himself and students. Peine went on to say how he felt it was those kinds of moments that were great because they helped build pride within the school and how one kids work became everybody’s work. In fact, Peine said these works of art will be his legacy and inspiration for generations to come. As for Grimes, his legacy simply put is the standards and examples he attempted to set for all his students.
“Education doesn’t change much,” said Grimes. “It cycles. And you can ask any parent or grandparent, in life one never quits teaching. Many of those you meet will often forget what you said and did; however, they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Peine, who said it’s possible he’s taught almost three generations of some families, it’s the contacts with the people a person makes and the marks one leaves on them is what he most reflects on and cherishes.
“I don’t think there’s a person that’s taught for as long as I have and not said, ‘it was different in my time,’ and maybe that’s just the old in me but it really was,” said Peine. “I think today we live in an instant gratification where our kids want to press a button and get an instant answer and I feel as though some don’t want to work as hard as some past generations have and it’s a little saddening.”
Although methods have changed and in some ways made education easier and harder at the same time, Peine said he wouldn’t have changed a thing about any of his experiences. They helped define who he was and who he is and for that he wants to thank everyone who has supported him over the years.
Grimes added by saying, “Never forget to process the information. If you process the information, you can learn and do anything. Never forget the number one rule to never forget rule number two.”
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