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Inge retires after long career

Mary+Inge+%28second+from+right%2C+bottom+row%29+has+been+teaching+for+27+years.+This+photo+was+taken+out+of+technology+teacher+Diana+Flick%27s+seventh+grade+yearbook.
Mary Inge (second from right, bottom row) has been teaching for 27 years. This photo was taken out of technology teacher Diana Flick's seventh grade yearbook.

Mary Inge (second from right, bottom row) has been teaching for 27 years. This photo was taken out of technology teacher Diana Flick's seventh grade yearbook.

Courtesy of Mary Inge

Courtesy of Mary Inge

Mary Inge (second from right, bottom row) has been teaching for 27 years. This photo was taken out of technology teacher Diana Flick's seventh grade yearbook.

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Economics and personal finance teacher Mary Inge first started teaching in 1972, nearly 30 years before any student at the high school was born.

“I was of the generation that I really did not think I was going to work outside the home,” Inge said. “I thought I was going to be a wife and a mother and live happily ever after.”

When she first began teaching, Inge was a home economics teacher, a class that only girls could take. A few years after she started teaching, though, Title IX made class segregation by gender illegal.

Aside from experiencing changing times, Inge has also learned a few pieces of wisdom over the years. One of the most memorable of these came from a principal at another high school.

“Every student is the very best that their parents have, and you should treat them that way,” Inge said.

After teaching for eight years initially, Inge took a break in which she raised children and worked for the Girl Scouts. Since then, Inge has taught for another 19 years, bringing the grand total to 27.

Of course there were financial motivations to keep working, but Inge truly enjoyed her job.

“If someone asked me, ‘Do you like your job?’ I would have to say yes,” Inge said. “I am a people person and you are guaranteed to have a classroom full of people.”

So why retire now?

Courtesy of Mary Inge
Mary Inge as a teacher in technology teacher Diana Flick’s yearbook.

“It’s time,” Inge said. “I can tell that it’s time from a variety of different ways.”

Her husband has already retired, so she looks forward to spending time at home.

“I see some years ahead of us that hopefully really are going to be years, and I didn’t want to miss out on that,” Inge said.

She also plans to spend more time with friends and grandchildren, and to get more sleep.

“I like people a lot, more than most people do,” Inge said. “Because of that, spending time with my family and friends is what makes me tick.”

To stay busy, Inge wants to start quilting and volunteer. She maintains substitute teaching as another option. Still, Inge realizes that retirement will hold some unknowns.

“Life is full of unexpecteds,” Inge said. “There’s nobody that has a perfect life, so I’ll have some things that are unexpected that are really a wonderful surprise and I’ll have some unexpecteds that will trip me [up] some. That’s just a reality of life.”

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Inge retires after long career