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Veteran teacher and school manager retires after 35 years

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By Ron Benningfield

After 35 years in the educational field, veteran teacher and school manager Kathy Ross retired in July.
Ross, who spent 30 years as a classroom teacher at Magnolia and the last five years as school administrative manager at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, taught all grades during her career except kindergarten and fifth.
The county’s first ExCEL (Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership) recipient, one of her most memorable moments was when ALES became the model school for the state’s School Manager Program.
“We averaged 85 percent in taking away management from the principal and were considered the prime example of how the program should work,” said Ross. “We were often visited by many schools throughout the state.”
Ross was known for her penchant in sending post cards to her students of places she visited.
“I have probably sent 3,000 post cards (birthday and vacation spots) in the last 20 years,” she said. “Many kids never get a chance to visit some of the places I have traveled, so this is a mini- geography/history lesson.
Her students, in turn, have sent her post cards from their vacation sites.
As to how she will spend her retirement years, she expects her “good-size” garden to keep her busy with canning, making her “famous salsa” and other garden goodies.
“I also have two grandsons that Garry (her husband) and I enjoy spending time with,” she said. The couple has six daughters who, according to Kathy, “always have a Garry/Kathy project on one of their houses or some other project.”
The two are also planning an Alaskan cruse next summer as well as a trip to Canada and New York in the fall.
“We always have a wanted to go out West, so we will probably do this, too,” she said.