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Last day of classes Friday
Students out until Aug. 9
Alice Holland
Alice Holland - photo by Submitted
School’s out for summer for Forsyth County students and teachers. But for Alice Holland and about 60 others, school’s out forever.

After more than 30 years teaching, Friday is Holland’s last day in front of a classroom of students.

“I think I’ll miss the kids the most,” said Holland, who has taught at North Forsyth High School since 1997. “And I love storytelling. My primary teaching strategy is storytelling ... so I think I will be a little bit sad to not be able to tell my stories very often.”

While summer is just beginning, Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Buster Evans is preparing for next year. But he’s also looking back at the past school year.

“I am moved by the dedication and support from the many people who worked to make Forsyth County Schools a success,” he said.

“Even in the challenging economic times, many people stepped forward to work on behalf of our students and I credit this support to the unique nature of our community, our students, our staff and friends who understand how connected education is to our daily lives.”

Family vacations, summer camps and spending time with friends may be on tap for students and staff.

But for many residents, particularly those without school-age children, the most noticeable difference likely will come in their daily commutes.
Garry Puetz, transportation director for the system, said many people will “notice the disappearance of the yellow buses” in the mornings and afternoons.

“We will have our new bus routes posted online in early July so both parents and drivers can prepare for our transition into the new year,” he said.

Puetz added that the transportation department had a “safe and successful school year,” one in which “our number of riders has increased.”

As for Holland, when the 2010-11 school year starts on Aug. 9, “I’m going to be sitting out on my front porch with a cup of coffee and my flannel pajamas still on, and I’ll just wave hello to them as they go to school.”

Since she began her career in 1978 at the then Forsyth County High School, where classrooms did not have air conditioning, Holland has seen many changes.

She’s seen the demographics of the county shift, the construction of many new campuses — including four high schools — and the student and teacher population grow exponentially.

“I’ve gone from being a teacher in a very small system to being a teacher in a very large system in one career span,” she said.

A county native, Holland said she’s looking forward to spending more time with husband Tim, pastor at Grace Baptist Church.

The couple has been together 34 years and “he’s still my sweetheart,” she said.

Holland anticipates being busy. Between quilting, crocheting, cooking, gardening and spending time with her grown sons, she doesn’t expect “any days where I’ll wonder what I’m going to do to today.”

“It’s a funny thing, because it’s a huge life change,” she said of retirement. “I woke up one morning with a feeling of peace on it.

“There are no regrets. It has been a great career, but it is time to turn the page.”