Leola Bryce Retires After 20 Years of Teaching at Fair Grove

April 9, 2021

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Mrs. Bryce in front of her class.

Fair Grove Middle School will be saying goodbye to their beloved 5th grade science teacher of 20 years, Leola Bryce, who is retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Bryce started at Pleasant Hope teaching accelerated math to 6th graders. After a year, she moved to teaching science at Fair Grove to 5th grade, making 21 total years teaching and spreading knowledge to kids. Bryce said that she will miss all the parts of teaching, but what she will miss most is her students. “I am always amazed at their creativity and imagination,” Bryce remarked. She went on to say, “I will also miss my colleagues. They have been so kind hearted and helpful to me.” Bryce said that she is blessed and grateful to experience teaching at Fair Grove.

Bryce has learned many things from her time teaching at Fair Grove. “I have learned, from my Fair Grove family, that a person is so much more valuable than a process. Teaching people (even young people) processes requires that we consider the person first,” Bryce shared. “As someone once told me, ‘People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.’”

Many students at Fair Grove will miss Bryce. “I’ll miss everything about Mrs. Bryce,” said Irelan Helmer (5), “I’ll miss her niceness, the sweetness, funniness, literally everything.” Another one of her students, Anderson Teaster (5), commented, “My favorite thing about Mrs. Bryce is how nice she is and how she’s so forgiving and she rarely ever gets mad and she will never do anything mean.”

Mrs. Bryce helps students in her 8th hour.

Marc Green, Fair Grove Middle School principal, expressed his feelings about Bryce’s retirement. Green said, “We will miss her kind and understanding personality. Mrs. Bryce brings a sense of calm and empathy to our building. She is truly devoted to our FG students.” Green reminisced about Bryce’s time in middle school. “Her personality and teaching style have been instrumental in creating a successful 5th grade program. Her experiences in the classroom will be impossible to replace,” Green told.

Haley Stallings is a former graduate of Fair Grove Schools and will begin her second year of teaching at Fair Grove in the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, replacing Bryce. “We are excited about adding Ms. Stallings to our staff,” remarked Green. “I would encourage her to use her creative personality in her classroom and lesson planning.” 

After her retirement, Bryce plans on spending time with friends and family, traveling, remodeling houses, and gardening. Bryce would like to tell her students that she will miss them and shared a Winnie The Pooh quote, “Promise me you’ll always remember, you are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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