GHS Press

June Kemp reflects on her years of teaching

Wesley Short

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As always, it can be painful to see a respected and loved member of the school’s staff leave for good. This is just the case for Mrs. Kemp, who has taught chemistry, ecology, biology, and other subjects in her over thirty years of teaching. To put a positive light on this, Mrs. Kemp talks about some of her greatest times and moments in her teaching career.

Q: How long have you been teaching altogether?

A: Thirty-two years.

Q: How did you start your career in teaching?

                A: I really began teaching in the fall of 1981 at Baileysville High School (which has consolidated with Oceana High into Westside High School) in Wyoming County. Prior to that I worked as a Pharmacy Technician at Bluefield Regional Medical Center and other hospitals and substituted in Mercer and Tazewell County schools. I even subbed for Mrs. Mullins once at Bluefield High School.

Q: What are some fond memories that you have of your time teaching at Graham High?

                A: That’s a hard one as there are really too many. I’ve had some unbelievable students over the years, and I’ll always remember them fondly. I’ll remember the time when GHS was sinking into a sinkhole and we went to school at Graham Middle instead. I’ll remember the championship football seasons and being a band chaperone during those. I’ll remember the pep rallies before the games. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the juniors and seniors sing to each other. Finally, I won’t forget the teachers and administrators that have walked these halls and helped me (especially Karen Harvey who always made us laugh and my BFF Peg Scott who always cheered me up) and Mr. Sam Crockett who hired me in the first place. I still miss them all.

Q: Out of all the subjects you have taught, which one would you consider your favorite?

                A: Definitely chemistry, but I really loved Earth Science and those freshmen I had all those years.

Q: What are your plans for retirement?

                A: I hope to be in great health, traveling some, soaking up the sunshine on a beach in Florida, refinishing furniture (that’s mostly a hobby) and maybe even working for Disney in the peak vacation seasons.

Q: What are some things you’ll miss after leaving Graham?

                A: The students and my colleagues here at Graham. Maybe even snow days and Christmas vacation, but I won’t have to worry about that, will I? I sure won’t miss lesson plans, grading papers and in-service.

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June Kemp reflects on her years of teaching