DCPS teachers say their goodbyes after 30 years of service


Olivia Couch, Co-Editor

After many years of dedication to teaching youth in the David City community, both Barb McClintic and Karen Papa are finishing their final year at DCPS. After teaching for over 30 years, McClintic is retiring from her fourth grade teaching position at David City Elementary and Papa from her second grade position at Bellwood Elementary. The praise for these women extends beyond myself and the rest of the SCOOP staff, as many other students recall their favorite moments with these teachers. After a quick interview with them, I believe their personalities show in their answers. I speak on behalf of many former students and teachers when I say: Thank you for your years!

What is your favorite lesson to teach?

McClintic: The first science lesson of the year about “Making Observations” is my favorite. I’ve also been told by former students that it is one of the most memorable. It’s the lesson when I eat a “candle.”

Papa: My favorite subject to teach has to be reading. I have always loved to read and think it is such an important skill that kids will use for the rest of their lives. One of my favorite parts of each day is when we have teacher read time. I get the chance to introduce my students to a variety of authors and types of literature. My greatest hope is that they just fall in love with books.

What is/are your favorite memory/memories as a teacher?

McClintic: I’m always so proud of the fourth graders when they finally understand how to divide large numbers….It’s a big deal in 4th grade!!!!

Papa: I have had so many special memories in my teaching career that it is hard to pick a favorite, but I guess I would have to say one my best memories is when I began my career at Bellwood. I taught first grade in Valentine, NE before I came to Bellwood, so when I got my job here I was very excited to teach a new grade. It turned out to be an awesome fit. I love second grade and my Bellwood family.

Do you have any advice for fellow staff members/ teachers?

McClintic: I’m the last person who should give advice, but I am thankful and grateful for all of the help, support, and encouragement from my co-workers….more than co-workers…they are my friends!

Papa: My advice for my fellow staff members and teachers is just try and enjoy the little moments along the way. Teaching is such an important and demanding job that I also would tell them to make sure to laugh some each day and just remember the whole reason you got into this profession –It is truly all for the kids!

Do you have any advice for your former students?

McClintic: Always put forth your best effort. Whatever you do in the future, do it with integrity.

Papa: My advice for former and all students is to keep dreaming and believing that you can make your dreams come true. You really can make a difference.  I would also challenge them to thank others that helped you on your journey.

Why did you choose teaching as your occupation?

McClintic: I had vowed early on NOT to be a teacher. It seemed all of my friends said I would be good at it, and that annoyed me. Thankfully, my stubbornness did not get the best of me.  Teaching swimming lessons and being a teacher’s assistant during my high school years made me realize that I did want to work with children. I also thought it was a career that would fit well with having a family of my own.

Papa: I chose teaching as a career because I knew it was something that would matter! I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was little and how amazing that I have gotten to live my dream every day I come to work. My hope was to inspire others, and I have tried to do that over the years.

Do you have any big plans after retirement?

McClintic: For the past five summers, I have had a goal to try something new. The summer of 2013 was running a half-marathon, 2014=full-marathon, 2015=mini-triathlon, 2016=skydiving and the Butler County Half-Century Bike Ride. This summer I am participating in the 3-day BRAN. Mostly, though, I’m going to enjoy being a GRANDMA primarily and substitute teacher on the side!

Papa: There are a few things I would like to do when I retire: travel, spend time with family, and just enjoy some free time. I know I will miss the kids and staff, so I am planning on doing some substitute teaching as well.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your time at DCPS?

McClintic: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your time at DCPS?

I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of the staff and students for everything, but to quote Arnold Schwarzenegger from The Terminator, “I’ll be back!”

Papa: My time with DCPS has been wonderful, and I will cherish the memories and friendships I have made over the last 27 years. I always tell my second graders that we are a family when we are together at school, and that is how I feel about DCPS.  It has been an honor to be a teacher in this district, and I am grateful to the administration, staff, students, and families for the chance to live my dream each and every day. I will always be a SCOUT!