Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 22, 2011

This past Sunday we were privileged to honor Mrs. Marilynne Burnside with a retirement reception. For the past 25 years Miss Marilynne has given Magnolia Heights’ students her very best. Her love and devotion for her students was witnessed on a daily basis. Whether comforting a little one who missed their mom, to making sure that everyone was on task, Miss Marilynne was always there. With her kind sweet smile, and the fact that she knew the names of all her students, Miss Marilynne always had a way of making sure you knew you were part of her family – the Magnolia Heights’ family.

Miss Marilynne started her 25 year career at Magnolia Heights as a 4 year old kindergarten teacher. There she, along with Miss Linda (Mrs. Linda Adams), taught the children the love of learning. Reading, writing, arithmetic and yes even recess – would all be worked on each day. By the end of the year, they were ready to graduate to 5K and learn the fundamentals that would serve them well through elementary school and beyond. Each year as she tearfully hugged each one, and most of the time they hugged back – she beamed with pride at how much they had learned and changed. Everyone else could see how much they enjoyed school and loved their teacher.

A few years later, and after many miles back and forth to “the school in Oxford” as she put it (Miss Marilynne is a big Bulldog fan), she earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and was named Elementary Principal. She served in that capacity for some 22 years and during her leadership Magnolia Heights’ elementary grew to unprecedented heights. A capital campaign was even undertaken to build new classrooms for the growing enrollment and MHS became a model for others to envy.

She would continue working with her students even in their high school years through golf, a game she dearly loves. She taught the boys, and a few girls, to respect the game and to develop skills that would serve them well – in high school and into their adult lives. She promoted junior golf with the same fervor and devotion used to teach 4 year olds how to read. You see, Miss Marilynne was a teacher and whether golf or reading - Respect, Knowledge and Skill were always stressed, no matter the task.

I had the privilege of both of my boys going through kindergarten and the elementary grades under her leadership. They not only knew they were loved, but would also be asked to give their best effort no matter what the endeavor. And you know – boys will be boys!
It has been said time and again that a true teacher touches the future each day. Hundreds of children will go on to be fruitful and productive citizens because of Miss Marilynne. There are only a few teachers, or for that matter people, that you never forget, and Miss Marilynne is one of those. We wish her well in her retirement and know that she will always be a Chief and will always be loved by all of us at Magnolia Heights.

Miss Marilynne we love you and wish you well – God Bless You….