Lifelong Educator Finds Joy In Student-Teacher Cooperation

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Sue Myers has seen firsthand how education has changed over the last 47 years.

The Payson School Unified School District superintendent said with the No Child Left Behind stipulations, there are many more challenges that must be met by school districts.

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After 47 years in education, Sue Myers is ready to move into retirement and travel.

"We have to document more and prove what we are doing," she said.

She also said education has needed to change because society has changed as well.

When she started teaching in 1960, there were very few single or no-parent families around. She said that has dramatically changed.

"In 1960, most everyone came from an intact family," Myers said.

However, school employees now know more about how students are better able to learn.

The Payson superintendent wanted to continue the family tradition of being an educator, and 47 years later the lifetime educator is retiring.

Myers said her father was an educator and coach, and when she started looking for work, there were not a lot of jobs for English majors.

She began her teaching career in 1960 in a small school where she was the entire English department, which included being the adviser to the school newspaper.

"I did everything. I learned the work value," Myers said, mentioning she stayed at the Colorado school for one year before moving to Tennessee and continuing her teaching career.

Myers also taught in Mesa for two years and in Los Angeles for three years before moving to Pine in 1972.

Myers taught at various levels in Pine before being named superintendent of the Pine Elementary School.

Myers was then given the opportunity to open Frontier Elementary School in 1994.

She said teaching and education was something she knew she wanted to do once she started her student teaching.

The Payson superintendent said what she enjoys most from her career is seeing students working with teachers and vice versa.

"They are such good people. They believe what they are teaching," Myers said.

She said the superintendent job is pretty tiring, but added, she always comes back for more.

When Myers initially retired, she thought she was ready to hang up her education career. One year later she was back as the Payson High School principal, where she spent two years. In the last two years she has been the PUSD superintendent.

"In Pine, I really wanted to (be the superintendent), and I was young enough to think I knew all of the answers," she said.

She said her busy job prevents her from seeing what is happening in the classrooms.

"What I miss most is not being able to see the students and teachers working, and added that she considers all school employees as teachers, from custodians to landscapers.

Myers attended the colleges of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., as well as Arizona State University.

In Payson, one of the biggest challenges she has seen in education is the tremendous growth, and mentioned the bond vote that was passed this past year as a necessity.

As the superintendent, she said, it would have been against the law for her to voice an opinion on the bond.

Myers said she plans to travel a lot in her retirement, mentioning India where a son lives and England, where she has friends.

"There is a whole world to see out there," she said.

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