She taught early childhood in Pittsfield and then went to learning
disabilities for a year for the Mid-State Special Education
District, splitting her time between Morrisonville-Tovey and
Edinburg-Kincaid. For three days per week she was in one set of
towns; for two days she was in the other two towns. The next week
she switched the number of days.
"I taught out of the trunk of my car," Susan remembers, "since I
was always on the move. I had to keep things where I could get to
them. I had four big bins with all my supplies in them."
After marrying, she and her husband moved to Lincoln, and she
filled in as a substitute for several positions, including as an ag
teacher at New Holland for one week, and as a special education
teacher for Ida Johnson at Lincoln Community High School.
Then she was hired to teach kindergarten for a half-day session
at Chester-East Lincoln. At the time the school had only one
kindergarten session. In 1978, she was assigned to fourth- and
fifth-grade reading and math. The next year, after Mrs. Dirker
retired, she was back in the kindergarten classroom, and that has
been her classroom ever since. Three members of the C-EL school
board were Mrs. Foran's kindergarten students.
When she began teaching at C-EL, she was the cheerleading
sponsor. The Stoltzenburgs were active at the school and helped with
the sporting events. Mrs. Foran's husband, Tom, kept the scoreboard.
Susan graduated from Williamsville High School and then from
Western Illinois University with a degree in special education.
"I grew up in a close-knit community and we didn't have to be
entertained," she said. "We worked together as a team to get things
done. That is how this school is and the way we get things done.
"The longer I've taught, the more things have changed," she said.
"The academics have advanced, and we're teaching kindergarteners
what first-graders used to learn. I realize how important reading
and other skills are, but I want them to learn to be good little
people and get along. They do their best."
[to top of second column]
This year the school resurrected its Hog Wild Happenings weeklong
event, providing the students with multiple opportunities to learn
about agriculture. Mrs. Foran was part of the committee that planned
the activity. She has also been involved with PBIS, a behavior
She was more than happy to help the students learn about
agriculture because she lives on a farm. Her husband and son farm
with her brother, Roger, around Williamsville and southern Logan
County. Her father is 95 years old and was also a farmer. He lives
in the house his father built and where Susan and Roger grew up. The
family farms hundreds of acres across several farms. And that is one
reason she is looking forward to retirement.
"I want to be a farm wife and go to the field, run errands, be
part of the whole process," she said. "I want to drive the trucks
and watch the harvest. I love my classes and my students, but I
can't wait to be home and be a real farm wife. I have envied my
mother and mother-in-law because they could be there when everything
came together. Now I can participate and make a contribution. I can
help when they need me, instead of being the gofer when I get home
from school. It is going to be great."
She doesn't plan to substitute teach after retirement. "I don't
think I'll have time," she laughed.
"I will miss the kids and parents," she said. "I hope I've been a
good part of their kids' growing up. It has been a lot of fun, and
if my knees would stand it, I might consider another year or two.
But I think I've been here long enough, and it is time for someone
else to appreciate the fun you can have with these kids."
[By MARLA BLAIR]
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