By Dawn M Chiossi
Recently, Roxbury’s Nixon Elementary School said both congratulations and goodbye to veteran teacher Maureen Milde. After an impressive 25 years on the job, this beloved Roxbury teacher retired in January.
Teachers, and in particular, teachers of elementary school students, are often a special group. When a child is first starting out their schooling, these teachers are guides and mentors showing them the way, helping them navigate the school goings-on.
In general, a teacher’s job is a multi-layered one, and one that is much more than teaching and having their students understand school subjects. Not only do they have to teach the appointed curriculum of the school, ideally teachers give their students the tools and skills they need to get through life’s challenges– no matter what those challenges may be.
Twenty five years is a long time to devote to any career, but for this second grade teacher, that career was a passion. According to Roxbury’s Nixon Elementary School Principal, Danielle Lynch, Milde began her teaching career as a Para-Professional (aide), spending all of her time teaching in the Roxbury district.
Bright and enthusiastic, Milde was very active in Roxbury, participating in events for the school and taught a variety of subjects to her students–everything from vocabulary and spelling words to computers, to so much more–including life lessons.
Throughout the years, Milde gave her time, dynamic energy and talents to so much at Nixon Elementary, even going beyond the expectations of what had been expected. For example, Milde had her students engage in a cause close to her heart: learning about Veterans Day and how important it is to honor the brave men and women who are America’s servicemembers. As her son is a serviceman himself, Milde enthusiastically had students write letters to active service members and veterans, acknowledging their service and thanking them for it.
Roxbury’s Nixon Elementary School Principal, Danielle Lynch can’t say enough about Milde and her journey and career with the school.
“Throughout her teaching Maureen gave her second graders a foundation I like,” Lynch says. “Through her passion for teaching she gave her students the skills to respect themselves and others.”
It was a foundation that will last the students a lifetime. According to Lynch, Milde is retiring to spend more time with her family. “She’s got a son in the service and has grandchildren now,” Lynch tells, “She’s looking forward to spending more time with them.”
Feedback from the school is bittersweet, on the one hand, they are happy for Milde, but they are saddened to lose this teacher who had brought so much to the staff and students every day.
“I will miss Maureen,” Lynch shares. “As a teacher she had a real passion for teaching, enjoying her students and giving the essential foundation of respect and caring, kindness and empathy that Roxbury’s Nixon Elementary School strives for. She was dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all of the students, enabling them to succeed.”
Lynch tells that the school held a breakfast for Milde in December, and a dinner at the Windlass Restaurant in Lake Hopatcong to share memories and wish her well. “It was so much fun,” Lynch says.
With the goals of inspiring and empowering their students, teachers like Milde. the staff at Nixon Elementary and the community all work together to be the change they want to see in the world. Through partnerships, they actively work to build nurturing partnerships to help their students to succeed in their school career and their future endeavors.