Big Tancook Island Elementary School Teacher Retiring After 35 Years

Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 13:48 PM

A teacher who has educated students for 35 years on Big Tancook Island is calling it a career.

Elizabeth Sutherland is retiring.

She recalls being one of two teachers on the island when she first started but has been by herself since 1990.

The most students she's had in her class was 16 and the fewest was last year, with two.

Sutherland says teaching on the island and watching students grow has been rewarding.

"When I first started here I thought I would stay two years and get my permanent contract and move on. 35 years later, here I am."

Sutherland says it's emotional for her to stop teaching on the island.

"You get to know your kids really well and how they learn, gear the program for their strengths and weakenesses and we've become a little family."

Sutherland, who lives in Chester, travelled every day by ferry to teach at Big Tancook Island Elementary School.

She says she'll miss seeing kids and island residents on a daily basis but plans to visit now and then.

Paula Baker will be the new teacher in September, with a class of five students in the one room school.