Lewis County Schools Supervisor Grace Tallhammer is retiring, with her official last day being Dec. 30.
Tallhammer has spent the last seven years of her career in the Board of Education Office serving as Elementary School Supervisor, curriculum supervisor, and director of federal programs.
Along with her 41 years in education, Tallhammer saw education moving in a different direction, which helped her decide now was the time to retire.
“I went into education with the goal of helping kids to make life better and I’m not sure that’s the direction we’re headed in,” said Tallhammer.
Education has changed so much over the years, and Tallhammer said that teachers now have to focus more on teaching students problem solving skills and how to think for themselves. She added that the internet makes it easy to get information that used to be taught in school, and education has shifted to coincide with technology.
Tallhammer began her career at Sand Fork Elementary School in Gilmer County and from there moved to Normantown Elementary School, also in Gilmer County, and then to Robert l. Bland Middle School (RLBMS) in Lewis County.
Tallhammer spent 12 years at RLBMS as principal.
“I absolutely love middle school kids. I’ve had a wonderful career,” she said.
Superintendent Steve Casto said, “She’ll be missed.”
He added it is always difficult to lose someone with as much experience as Tallhammer.
During her time in the classroom and at an administrative level, Tallhammer has learned a lot herself, including “practice makes permanent,” and just being with the kids and teachers.
Tallhammer has had students she taught come back to her as adults, and she has had their children in class, as well. She loves seeing them progress from that child in her classroom to an adult.
“My whole goal is to do what’s right for the kids,” she said.
Middle School Supervisor Rhonda Judy said Tallhammer is invaluable to Lewis County Schools. Judy stated that Tallhammer is so knowledgeable and steps up to the plate when needed.
“Losing Grace is a huge loss to to the county,” she added.
High School Supervisor and Nutrition Director Chris Derico said about Tallhammer, “She’s been wonderful to work with. Her knowledge and expertise will be missed.”
Tallhammer plans to continue to keep in touch with what’s going on and volunteering some time at Leading Creek Elementary School on some different projects. She also plans to spend time with a great grand daughter, who will be born early next year.
Tallhammer wants to work on her house, and she also will travel out west next summer. “I’ll miss the kids the most, not seeing them progress emotionally or academically,” she said.
Tallhammer self identifies as a risk taker, adding that every job she left the only things she took were her stapler and her pictures. She has now passed that stapler on to Jeff Tidd, county technology coordinator for schools. She has had it since 1977 and passed it on to “someone who loves kids as much as I do.”