r By Chris Hash
After 29 years, Mapleton educator Carol Day is graduating from elementary school.
Twenty-three of those 29 years have been spent in Nebo School District, most recently at Mapleton and Hobble Creek elementary schools. It’s safe to say that hundreds of local children have benefited from her efforts. On Wednesday, May 18, many of Day’s colleagues and former students attended an open house to honor her and wish her well in retirement.
“Carol is a gem,” said Julie Warren, director of elementary education for Nebo School District. “She has always given so willingly to benefit children and teachers.”
“She is an absolute creative force,” said Julie Peery, principal of Mapleton Elementary School. “She has always been an effective advocate for children and their needs. Intelligent, kind, patient, talented and peaceful, she lets children be themselves and grow in the directions they choose. She helps them see potential they might not recognize. And she is great to work with, a wonderful peer and teacher.”
Michael Johnson, principal at Hobble Creek Elementary School, said, “Carol has been one of the most influential and creative forces at our school. Her dedication and creative flair have brought so many fun, progressive ideas to our school.”
Many Mapleton parents might echo those thoughts. Hundreds of children have participated in programs available to them largely because of Day. It might have been debate, school plays, music, dance, chess club, advanced math, opera, green maps, ceramics, art projects, Nebo Gifted and Talented programs or Artists in Residence. But whatever it was, it enriched their education in significant ways.
When asked to remember a highlight of her career, Day was hard-pressed to pick out just one, but she did cite a recent experience as being representative. “We just finished putting on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ with a group of wonderful sixth-graders,” she said. “At the end, I was given several beautiful bouquets, and I got a group hug from about 30 kids. That’s what makes it worth it.”
“Students, parents and teachers will miss Carol dearly,” Johnson said. “We wish her all the best for the future.”
What comes next? “Well, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family,” Day said. “My husband I just bought a little pop-up trailer and we’ll be doing some traveling. We hope to visit many national parks. I have family all over the country, and we’ll be visiting them too. And now I can go to things during the day, like the neighborhood knitting group.”
Doubtless there will continue to be many creative projects as well.