Lincoln’s Kathy Logan counts the days to retirement

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

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Kathy Logan, a 40-year veteran of teaching, is retiring. She said Wednesday that she has exactly 21 working days left.

All but one of those 40 years was spent in Little Falls. Her first year of teaching was in Alvarado, a small town of about 300 people, 200 of which were the students.

Kathy Logan, a first grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Little Falls, will be retiring at the end of this school year. She has taught in the Little Falls District for 39 years.

“I was only 20 years old when I got my first job,” she said. “I was hired as a half-time librarian and a half-time special education teacher. I was also the yearbook advisor which was funny since the seniors were just two years younger than me.”

Logan was born in Grafton, N.D. and graduated from Mayville State College in 1971. After a year in Alvarado, she longed for a larger district.

“Before 1971, Randall was an independent school district through eighth or ninth grade,” she said. “The high school students went to Little Falls. In 1971, Randall became part of the Little Falls School District, but continued teaching through middle school. In 1972, about 70 new teachers were hired in the Little Falls District when the new high school was built and the previous junior high school became the middle school for all the students in the district. That’s when I was hired to work at Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary.”

The superintendent at that time was Norm Maguire and the principal at Knight was Jim Sylvester. Logan started her career in Little Falls as a half-time Title I teacher (working with children in areas of reading and math who are slightly below grade level and need a boost) and a half-time librarian. She remained in that position for nine years.

Logan decided to teach first grade, on Knight’s then principal Marv Walters’ recommendation. She remained in that position for four years. In 1985, she transferred to Lincoln Elementary in Little Falls as a first grade teacher.

“I taught first grade for 12 years at Lincoln, then returned to the Title I position for another nine years,” she said. “I have been back with my first graders now for six years.”

“Kathy will be missed,” said Lincoln Principal Dr. Maxine Strege. “It’s hard to see all the years of wisdom leaving the district. All the retiring teachers will be hard to replace.”

Logan said she has not huge plans for retirement. But, she said that she is looking forward to the freedom of doing things when she wants rather than scheduling activities around school breaks.

“One think I look forward to is visiting my daughter Brittany who is attending the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland,” she said.

Possibly spending winters in a warmer climate, like Phoenix, Ariz., is also on her list.

“I would like to substitute teach on occasion, especially at Lincoln where I know so many people and children,” she said. “I will also be working on my home for a future sale. I would like to buy a smaller one.”

Logan will also be catching up on her reading.

She said she will miss the kids the most.

“They are so loving. They call us mom or grandma,” she said. “I will miss the cute things they do and say. They can be so funny.”

Remembering how it was when she started, Logan said that students now enter first grade knowing beginning math and reading. Forty years ago, all kids were taught in kindergarten was cutting, pasting and napping.

“My first grade class this year is exceptional,” she said.

Logan will also miss the Lincoln staff.

“It’s more like a family here,” she said. “Lincoln is a perfect school. It’s just the right size. It’s the best kept secret in Little Falls.”

Logan said  she currently has two students whose parents were also in her class. She realized she had been teaching a long time and that it was time to retire when her students began asking her if she colored her hair.

“I have always been proud to say I am a teacher,” she said. “Especially one from Little Falls.”