Current, past educators in Welsh honored

Published 6:54 am Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Friends of the Welsh Museum honored current and past educators Thursday for their impact and contributions to more than a century of education.

“I think it’s a duty that has long been put off,” Museum President Mary Sue Lyon said. “I think it is time that we honor these people and I can tell by the response we have had, people want to thank all of them for the wonderful work they have done over the years and continue to do.”

Welsh has always had a very strong school system from the early days when it was just a room in the back of founder’s Henry Wilson’s store in 1881 to the two schools it has today, she said.

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The reception honoring past and current teachers, coaches, principals, administrators and their families was part of the continuing 30th anniversary of the Friends of the Welsh Museum and the 135th anniversary of the signing of the town’s charter.

“We’re here to celebrate the people who helped shape our future and those who will continue to teach us,” said retired educator Chip Kyle, who served over 34 years in public education. “We owe a debt of gratitude to teachers and administrators who sparked our curiosity and opened doors to new worlds.”

Retired educator Pat Deshotel, who served 26 years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal, said education made him the man he is today.

“I had wonderful teachers who guided me and I am thankful for those people who guided and nurtured me,” Deshotel said. “…This country would not be what it is today without educators.”

At age 91, Marie Hebert of Breaux Bridge was among the oldest retired educators present. Hebert, along with her brothers and sisters, taught over 250 years in public education.

When asked what she missed most about teaching, Hebert smiled and said, “Seeing the glow on the faces of the students while they were learning.”

As a business teacher, Hebert taught many of the town’s leaders, including Lyon, to type.