SUMNER — Hartford-Sumner Elementary School will lose two teachers at the end of the school year who together have taught for nearly 50 years.

Chris Galgay, a second-grade teacher, and Jacqueline Stevens, a fourth-grade teacher, have decided it’s time to retire.

For both educators, becoming teachers was a second or third career, and one that both have thoroughly enjoyed.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Stevens said. “When my kids got older, I went back to school. I like watching them learn and seeing that light bulb go off.”

She served as the former SAD 39’s first adult education director and as an educational technician for several years, serving some of those years with Galgay. Prior to entering the classroom, she had worked in accounting and other offices.

Galgay is one of the few men who choose to teach young children and is a former president of the Maine Educational Association. He held various positions, including truck driver, telephone company employee and school bus driver before graduating from the University of Southern Maine in elementary education. He focused on the youngest grades.


“It’s very satisfying to be a teacher. I like the kids’ enthusiasm and I can relate to them,” he said.

He originally is from Cambridge, Mass., and immediately fell in love with Maine when he moved here decades ago.

Stevens, originally from Buckfield, graduated from the former Livermore Falls High School, the former Mid-State College, and the University of Maine at Farmington.

She and her husband, Bob, who already has retired, plan to divide their life between their cottage in Upper Enchanted Plantation, and, perhaps, Brunswick.

“I always said I would retire while I still loved teaching,” she said. “I want to have another part of my life.”

Galgay has a bookshelf full of books, including biographies, histories and non-fiction he wants to dig into. Whether he remains at his home in Turner is uncertain right now.


Both teachers, at age 61, are cancer survivors.

“We don’t know what the future holds, so if I can retire now, I will,” Galgay said. “Life is too short.”

He also hopes to take college courses just for the fun of it.

When he first came to Maine, he lived in Gorham. When he was hired as a teacher at HSES, he knew that was exactly where he wanted to be.

“I was different; the only male teacher,” he said.

Stevens may substitute teach in the Jackman school department, and increase the size of her garden once she has more time.

Stevens and her husband have two sons and three grandchildren. Galgay and his wife, former elementary teacher Lisa Galgay, are the parents of two children.

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