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Posted April 25, 2011

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Valerie Taylor, Sally Sanchez, Coach David Fleming, Caroline Thayer, and Larry Stone Retiring from Apache Elementary

Five dedicated employees will retire from Apache Elementary School this spring. A party to honor them will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the gym. They are:

Valerie Taylor

Counselor Valerie Taylor has spent 19 of her 20 years with Albuquerque Public Schools at Apache Elementary. She spent another seven years teaching in Texas before moving to Albuquerque. When asked what she plans to do when she retires, Taylor said she will do “whatever I want” – gardening, scrapbooking and reading are among the possibilities.

Sally Sanchez

Sally Sanchez is retiring after 42 years of teaching. Over the past several years, she has enriched the lives of students at Apache Elementary with her many artistic and bilingual gifts. The May  Day baskets her classes created surprised staff and brightened school doorknobs. Colleagues say it is a treat to walk by her classroom to see the variety of project students are always working on.

Coach David Fleming

Coach David Fleming has taught PE at Grant and Kennedy Mid-School, Del Norte High and at Apache Elementary for 20 years. He helped develop an amazing jump rope team that has performed at many schools, the New Mexico State Fair and the Christmas Twinkle Light parade. Students have received a wide range of exercise lessons through his classes that will follow them through their lives. Fleming’s slogan is “Give your body a treat every day.”

Caroline Thayer

Caroline Thayer has been teaching for 36 years. She began her career in Farmington and has taught in eight states. She has been with APS for nine years. At Apache, she oversees the gifted program where students are challenged and look forward to the exciting ways Thayer presents lessons. She said in retirement she may tutor and substitute teach to keep in touch with the students. Yoga, art classes and swimming will definitely remain in her routine.

Larry Stone

Larry Stone taught for six years in Pennsylvania before moving to Albuquerque. He has taught special education for 16 years in APS, 11 of those at Apache. He is happily married and has no special plans after retiring, though biking, hiking and running may be on his list.

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