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Closing the books for last time

Sturbridge resident retires from teaching

Longtime North Brookfield schoolteacher Laura Eliason shows a book signed by her sixth-grade pupils on the last day of classes a couple of weeks ago wishing her a great summer. David Dore. (click for larger version)
July 10, 2009
NORTH BROOKFIELD — When Laura Eliason first stepped foot in North Brookfield High School, she was not much older than the teenagers who went there.

The 21-year-old had just graduated from the University of Southern Connecticut, finishing her bachelor's degree in three and a half years by taking weekend classes.

Eliason came to the high school to teach students with special needs, but not long into her tenure a teacher told her she was early and had to leave the building because classes had not yet started for the day. The teacher, Eliason recalled a couple of weeks ago, thought she was a student.

After that, Eliason timed her arrival so she would come in not with her fellow teachers, but rather with students. She did that, she said, so she would not disrespect the teacher who thought Eliason had not graduated from high school, let alone college.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage.

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