DIXFIELD — Gloria Jenkins said she learned the importance of education from her aunt who was a teacher and missionary for years in Nigeria.

“I wanted to help people learn,” Jenkins said this week as she prepared to wind down her more than 40 years in education. She has served as curriculum coordinator and assistant superintendent at Regional School Unit 10, and served SAD 43 for 16 years.

She has also served as Washington County Consortium director, as part of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance organization and as a third-grade teacher and an education technician.

She graduated from Madison High School, received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of Maine, a certificate of advanced studies from the University of Southern Maine, and a Doctor of Education degree from Nova University in Florida.

“I want more time with my family and time to do more focused work in education, such as grant-funded projects,” she said.

Over the years, she has seen increasing federal influences in education, emphases on standards/proficiency-based education and much more paperwork.

At the beginning of her career, the major focus was on academics. Now, schools are responsible for a student’s social, mental and behavioral well-being, she said.

“All the changes have benefits and drawbacks. I try to find the benefits and take advantage of them,” she said.

She said she is proud of the range of skills, knowledge and wisdom of the RSU 10 teachers. And she has enjoyed the recognition many RSU 10 teachers have received around the state. The regional school unit includes the Rumford-, Dixfield- and Buckfield-area systems.

Education has been a fascinating vocation, she said.

“There’s always something new to learn,” Jenkins said. “I have worked with some incredible people. I like to think I’ve helped teachers and administrators learn. I will miss that and the work we are doing.”

Jenkins plans to take it easy the first few months of retirement, work in her flower and vegetable gardens, spend time with her parents and granddaughter and read. She also plans to take a few trips with her husband, Bob, who is semi-retired from teaching at the Maine College of Art and the University of Maine at Farmington.

She and her husband, who live in Jay, have two children and four grandchildren.


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