Some teachers and faculty will go to great lengths for the students and school district.
In 2017, Lisa Melgren canoed through a flooded intersection of her neighborhood just to get to school.
“Mom was waiting for me in her car so she could drop me off at the school,” said Melgren. “The next day, the water went down a little bit, but not enough, so I walked through it with my tall boots on. My kindergarteners loved it, though. They were all like, ‘You took a boat to school!’”
Melgren has been a speech-language pathologist for 21 years and is one of 10 retirees who will be leaving the Logan-Rogersville School District this year.
In the early childhood department, Lisa Hale worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher at the school for 27 years.
“Dad told me I was going to do this,” said Hale. “He’s a professor, and he told me you need to go teach. I had other ideas, but finally I thought I’ll just be a teacher, and I’ve loved it ever since.”
For 15 years, Marianne Piccola was the special services administrative assistant. She started out as a temporary service for Penmac, which sent her to various places before she settled in Rogersville.
“The people are wonderful, and they are the reason I came back,” said Piccola. “They took me under their wing and taught me everything.”
Regarding Piccola, Kevin McComas, director of special services, said, “A fun quirk about Marianne is her ghost stories. She made us laugh with her stories, especially the one where she stayed at this haunted hotel by herself. None of us would ever do that, but she was all for it.”
On the subject of retirement, Teri Jernigan, principal of L-R Upper Elementary, had mixed feelings about it. She said, “I served the school district for 30 years. It’s kind of crazy and a bit bittersweet, but it’s good. There have been challenging times, but good times, too, but I’m going to miss everyone.”
Russ Wenger, custodian for the L-R Primary School, said he helped “straighten the teachers out” during his 23 years at the school district.
“I think that’s what I’ll miss most,” said Wenger. “They need me there to straighten them out. It’s been a good run overall. I first started with first graders. Then I dropped down to kindergarten and then I got to preschool. I guess they finally figured out what age group I needed to be with. The first graders were too mature for me.”
This year marked Rebecca Lea’s 24th year at Logan-Rogersville. She served as a literacy coach for kindergarten through first grade. Lea taught kindergarten for most of her career and then became an instructional coach for the last eight years.
“I wanted the kids to get started on the right foot,” said Lea. “I loved seeing them improve and grow. I also loved making connections with the families.”
As a second-grade teacher for 26 years, Melanie Lorance said, “It’s kinda funny to hear a second grader’s take on things. That’s something that made the job a lot of fun for me.”
At the Primary School, Bonita Yager cared for many children as the staff daycare aide. She already had previous experience from her 20 years of daycare service at home.
“I’ve served the district for 16 years,” said Yager. “I think what it takes to be a good daycare aide is to love these babies.”
On the food service side, Linda Claxton spent 15 years in Rogersville and 14 years in Sparta. She said, “I’m not sure what’s the plan after this, but I know I’ve enjoyed my time here at Rogersville. The students and staff are wonderful.”
Doug Smith served as the middle school physical education teacher and football and track coach for 13 years. Regarding Logan-Rogersville Schools, he said, “I always enjoyed working with my colleagues and helping students achieve success! I enjoyed the community and the friendships during my 13 years at Rogersville!”