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Michelle Smead was searching for a job in Athletic Training when she began working as a substitute teacher. That role led to a full-time teaching job and 29 years later, she is retiring from the Averill Park Central School District.

Mrs. Smead has a long history at AP, having graduated in 1982. Her parents also graduated from the high school in 1959.

“I have many favorite memories from my years at AP and Poestenkill Elementary,” she said. “I was blessed to work with amazing teachers who became my close friends. I have been honored at many Teacher Appreciation ceremonies over the years and have watched many students excel academically, athletically, and artistically over the years. I was lucky enough to have my own children attend Poestenkill, as well. Many students have made me laugh over the years. One time our class was on a field trip to see a play at the then newly renovated Palace Theater in Albany. We marveled at how beautiful the theater was and had gone over proper theater behavior in our classroom in preparation for the trip. Within minutes of us taking our seats at the theater, one of my students called my name and when I turned around, he was holding up the armrest from his seat and proceeded to tell me the workers did a less than stellar job at the renovation! I think my jaw dropped to the floor but when I turned away, I couldn’t help but giggle a little bit. I have dozens of these stories that will keep me smiling for the rest of my life.”

In retirement, Mrs. Smead plans to travel. Along with her husband, she plans to go to many college football games, NY Rangers hockey games, and PGA Tour events. She also plans to play more golf and spend some beach time at their Florida home. Additionally, Mrs. Smead is expecting her first grandchild in August!