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"I have a lot of very special memories"; Sweet Home teacher prepares to retire during COVID-19

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:36:07-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — For Darcy Tolsma Spengler, teaching is her passion.

"There was really no second thoughts," she said. "I always wanted to be a teacher."

She's been doing it for forty years, thirty-eight of those at all four elementary schools in the Sweet Home Central School District.

"It was a dream come true, Tolsma Spengler said about teaching at her Alma mater. It's something that I was so fortunate to experience and have the opportunity to come back and teach."

Tolsma Spengler currently teaches special education at Heritage Heights Elementary in Amherst and is spending her days in a virtual classroom. It's not how she imagined this school year ending, especially since it's her last.

She's retiring. It's been a great ride for the dedicated and beloved teacher, but it's certainly not the way she imagined it coming to a close.

"I've gone through days and moments of feeling like a ball of emotions bouncing around," she said about her final few weeks of teaching. "I have a lot of very special memories and that's what I try to focus on and focus on the day to day, seeing my students."

It's all any teacher can do these days: focus on the positives.

For Tolsma Spengler, it's her kids in the classroom that remind her of why she loves this job so much.

And while COVID-19 has put a damper on her last hurrah, it will never stop her love for these kids and her school.

"I'm very proud to be part of Sweet Home," she said. "I am a blue and gold cheerleader all the way through."

Tolsma Spengler was planning on having a big retirement party, but due to large gathering restrictions, that's been put on hold. She does plan on saying a proper goodbye to all of her colleagues and students at a later time.