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A Final Bow for a Veteran Educator

Rich Egger

This week's guest on Emphasis is Dr Alene Reuschel.

Reuschel has retired after six years as Macomb School District superintendent and roughly 40 years of service in education.

Reuschel's first teaching assignment was as a student teacher at Macomb High School in 1971. After that, she was a substitute teacher for six years at Camp Point Central while her husband Paul pursued his professional baseball career. She also did some tutoring in Venezuela, where she said teachers were treated well during social events.

"If they found out I was a teacher, they would move my seat to a place of honor next to the host," Reuschel said. "I always found that interesting, how they valued teachers."

Reuschel said she had been working as an education consultant with the state when the superintendent in Liberty convinced her to take a job there as head teacher at the elementary school.  She found she enjoyed administrative work and eventually became principal of the high school there.

Reuschel said the technology used in American education has changed a great deal during her career. Overhead projectors gave way to mobile labs and now computers and tablets, though she said no device is a "magic wand."

"What a technology can do for some student is no different than a tape recorder did or some other things. And that is maybe expedite, or allow something to be more immediate," Reuschel said.

But the greatest single factor in the room is a caring, knowledgeable professional, working with each and every student and recognizing that each student is different.

In retirement, the Reuschels plan to visit every major league baseball park. Even though few remain from the time when Paul pitched, Alene said that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"I think what's happening in professional sports is no different than what's happening in education. That which served us well for many years -- and we're grateful for it -- maybe can't be renovated anymore," Reuschel said.

She pointed out Macomb High School was a new, state-of-the-art building that held 1,200 students when she was a student teacher. Now it's sometimes a struggle to find space for 900 students. Reuschel said that's because of changes in how students are taught and how the district needs to use those spaces. She said there is only so much that can be done with infrastructure.

This Is Also the Final Bow for Emphasis

This is the final Emphasis program.  The Moth Radio Hour will fill the noon hour on Fridays beginning July 5.

However, Tri States Public Radio will continue to conduct in-depth interviews with news makers from around the region. Many of those interviews will air during Afternoon Edition and will be posted to the web.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.