School says goodbye to teacher team

Mr. and Mrs. Ridley

Mr. and Mrs. Ridley

Russell Hill, For The Tribe

The end of the school year brings with it many changes.  For the most part, students and staff are excited to complete another year of learning.  But it is also a time to say goodbye to beloved students and sometimes some beloved teachers.

The end of this school year brings with it the departure of two of Morton’s best teachers, Mr., and Mrs. Ridley.  The two have taught at Morton for 5 years and 6 years, respectively.  Mr. Ridley teaches high school science classes and Mrs. Ridley teaches high school and junior high school technology classes.

Mr. Ridley and his Forensics class investigate a “murder”.

“I came to Morton because they had a computer applications position open and I was willing to drive an hour to work and an hour again back home each day so I could teach my favorite subject,” Mrs. Ridley said.  “I returned to teaching to get on the same schedule as Melanie,” Mr. Ridley said. “Plus, we could ride together to and from work.”

Mr. Ridley is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and Mrs. Ridley is a graduate of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.  Mr. Ridley, in addition to teaching, has also been a farmer, a paramedic, and a pilot.  Mrs. Ridley has also been a paramedic as well as having a long teaching career of 23 years, not including 7 years of homeschooling the Ridley’s daughters.

“I plan to teach for five more years in Colorado,” Mrs. Ridley said, “and get invested in the Colorado teacher retirement program.  “I will seek something outside of education,” Mr. Ridley said.

Mrs. Ridley says her favorite memories are when students got excited about learning something new in class.

Mrs. Ridley shows one of the creations from the 3D printer created by one of her students.

“I loved watching their eyes light up when they showed me the thing they made in Tinkercad and wanted me to print it out on the 3D printer,” Ridley said.  “Or, when they figured something out on their own in Tynker/Minecraft for Education or when they beat their record in keyboarding.”

The Ridleys will be leaving Morton to move to Colorado Springs, Colorado to live near one of their daughters.  Mrs. Ridley will be working in the public schools once again and Mr. Ridley plans on waiting to get settled before seeking out new employment.  But both say it is a difficult decision to leave Morton.

“We will miss the staff here,” Mr. Ridley said. “Everyone has been great to work with.”

“Leaving Morton is bittersweet,” Mrs. Ridley said.  “I feel like I’m leaving part of my heart here with the students, staff and administration because Morton ISD has been like a family to me.”

But there are some things that the Ridleys will not miss when they leave.

“I won’t miss the 129-mile drive each day, but I will certainly miss the people,” Mrs. Ridley said.  “I’m glad to be leaving education,” Mr. Ridley said. “The expectations on teachers need to change.  Too many of us are leaving the field because the stress outweighs the benefits.”

But there is one very bright point for the pair.

“We’ll be moving to a place where we will be close to our youngest daughter and a place, I have always loved visiting,” Mrs. Ridley said.  “I can’t even imagine how neat it will be to look out my window and see the mountains, nor can I get my head around how many fun places to visit and explore are within an hour of my house.”

Mrs. Ridley did have something she wanted to say to her students before she leaves.

“One of the things that I’ve enjoyed through my years in education is watching my students grow up and become responsible, productive citizens,” she said. “There is a special joy deep down when you realize that maybe you had a small part somewhere down the line in helping them become who they are now.  I sincerely hope that when they think of me, they will know that the reason I pushed them so hard to learn was that I loved them and wanted the very best for them- always!”