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Douglas County fourth-grade teacher retires from ‘second career’
by Liz Marino
May 29, 2013 11:20 AM | 1898 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Hutton helps Chloe Clemensen, 10, daughter of Cathy and Patrick Clemensen, with her school work during class.
From left, Hutton helps Chloe Clemensen, 10, daughter of Cathy and Patrick Clemensen, with her school work during class.
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From left, teachers Joyce Hutton and Debbie McCullough often exchange ideas involving classroom education at Arbor Station Elementary.
From left, teachers Joyce Hutton and Debbie McCullough often exchange ideas involving classroom education at Arbor Station Elementary.
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From left, teacher Joyce Hutton with her students, Camryn Curtis, 10, daughter of Peggy Curtis, and Samantha Andersen, 10, daughter of Christian Andersen.
From left, teacher Joyce Hutton with her students, Camryn Curtis, 10, daughter of Peggy Curtis, and Samantha Andersen, 10, daughter of Christian Andersen.
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Staff / Katherine Frye<br>From left, Ann Lanier and Hutton, both retiring from Arbor Station Elementary, talk during the Douglas County School System Teacher Retirement Luncheon April 25 at Foxhall Farms.
Staff / Katherine Frye
From left, Ann Lanier and Hutton, both retiring from Arbor Station Elementary, talk during the Douglas County School System Teacher Retirement Luncheon April 25 at Foxhall Farms.
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Joyce Hutton was all set to become a teacher, but circumstances caused her career plans to take a U-turn.

The fourth-grade teacher at Arbor Station, who formerly lived in Long Island, N.Y., received her bachelor’s degree in teaching from Rutgers University and was all set to move forward in her chosen career path as an educator.

Unfortunately, teaching jobs were scarce so she began a 20-year career as a buyer of sportswear, sleepwear and accessories.

Still, the idea of becoming a teacher was never far from her mind. While living in south Florida, she had gone on to earn a master’s degree in elementary education from Florida International University.

“I had a teaching degree out of college, but there were few jobs then,” said Hutton. “I had the opportunity to come back to something I really loved and wanted to do.”

That was 12 years ago, when Hutton moved to Douglas County and through the Teach Georgia program was able to fulfill her dream of teaching for five years at Eastside Elementary School and seven years at her current school, Arbor Station Elementary.

And it is from Arbor Station that she is retiring at the youthful age of 70.

“I really enjoy what I do here,” she explained. “It is so different from what I did before in a business environment.”

Hutton added, “It is a very powerful job to influence children. They trust you in a way adults don’t.”

She teaches high-level mathematics to her fourth-grade class, while using situations from her previous career as a buyer, she said.

“Everyone goes shopping,” said the teacher. “We are all consumers. I try to bring real-life situations into it. Teaching children their place in the world is exciting to me.”

Arbor Station Principal Melissa Joe has nothing but praise for the retiring teacher.

“She is a great educator and will be sorely missed,” Joe said.

Upon her retirement, Hutton plans to be “grandma” to her only grandchild who lives in Philadelphia. She also has a large “bucket list” of things to do during her retirement.

An avid reader, she also plans to quilt and work more on her new hobby of beading that friends introduced to her.

She also wants to become a University of Georgia-designated master gardener.

“I like to garden to make things pretty — I’m not much of a farmer,” she said.

Of teaching, Hutton said, “It’s been a good experience.”

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