Wakefield celebrates its 20th anniversary. (Staff Photo by Abigail Mosher)
Wakefield celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Staff Photo by Abigail Mosher

Two retirees look back on their time in education

Dorothy Corrigan and Karen Guy say good-bye

June 11, 2020

Dorothy Corrigan

Dorothy+Corrigan

Dorothy Corrigan

Describe your job?

My job is titled “Library Media Coordinator” and that allows me to work in our Media Center helping both teachers and students to satisfy their instructional needs [including] reading, research, and technology. I also serve as a teacher mentor to young teachers just starting out and have been involved in intervention for students who are struggling. The Media Center is a busy place and every day is different. We help with everything from novels for classroom reading to how to complete papers in proper MLA format and love to discuss students’ leisure reading choices.

How long have you been working with students?

I began working with students in August of 2000 when I served as a Media Assistant at Wakefield Middle [School]. In 2004, I returned to NC State to get certified to teach Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies. In 2006, I began teaching 8th Grade Social Studies.

Dorothy Corrigan when she first started teaching at Wakefield Middle in 2006.

How long have you been at Wakefield? 

In July 0f 2012 I accepted my current position as Library Media Coordinator and have been [at Wakefield High] for 8 years. My entire teaching career has been at Wakefield Schools!

What inspired you to work with students?

I became involved with PTAs in Philadelphia where I lived until 22 years ago and really enjoyed my time in elementary school helping students who were from low-income families. Many of these kids lived an hour away from school and when they just needed a [mother figure], I was so glad to be there for them. Then I came to North Carolina in 1998 [and] had more opportunities to work with students. 

When I accepted the position of Media Assistant at Wakefield Middle was when I began to seriously consider becoming a teacher because I loved being able to work with students in middle school.

One of your favorite memories?

My fondest memories at Wakefield MIddle was doing the Wax Museum every June. Students [would study] the biography of a famous person in history and then [dress up as] their person and [stand] in the hallway with some props. It was always so much fun seeing the kids trying to stay still, and act like a statue while all the 6th and 7th graders went through the 8th-grade halls.

At Wakefield High one of my many fond memories was that for four years there were students at Wakefield High that I had taught in eighth grade. Watching them go through high school, learn, mature, and become ready to go out into the world was truly a blessing. It completely changed how I see students in their high school years.

What do you think you will miss most about working in the media center?

I will miss being with the students every day.  I really enjoy being able to help and support them, but more than that, I enjoy just talking with them.  I learn something every day. I don’t know how I’m going to keep up with new apps if I’m not there! Also, Wakefield High staff is like my family.  I will miss every one of them a great deal.

What are your plans for once you retire?

I have applied for the Wake County Master Gardener Program, but Covid19 has put a wrench into that. The Program requires classes once a week for four months, and now they are not sure when that will be safe. I will wait [for when it is safe] though. It is a volunteer program where you spend time educating people on gardening and help them find the resources they need.

My other goals include volunteering to help school-related organizations in any way possible.  Advocating for [a] strong public school [system] is something we all need to do.

The best thing about retiring is that I will not [have to get] up at 5:30 a.m. every day.  Call me any time after 8 a.m.!

What is one pearl of wisdom you want to give to students?

Be positive in everything you do. Set aside time every morning to check in with yourself and set your mind to seeing everything in the world as positive. Begin to see people in a kind and loving way. You never know what someone is carrying.  Once you become mindful of yourself and others, you will have much more success and happiness in your own life.

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Karen Guy

Karen+Guy

Karen Guy

What do you teach? 

Latin I-V

How long have you been teaching? ​

30 years

How long have you been at Wakefield? ​

20 years

What inspired you to become a teacher? ​

While still in grad school I subbed for a high school teacher who was out on maternity leave and I absolutely loved it! I knew then I had found my calling.

One of your favorite memories?​

Traveling with students to Italy and seeing their faces light up when they saw the things we studied in class.

Mrs. Guy at the beginning of her career.

What do you think you will miss most about teaching? ​

Definitely the students.

What are your plans for once you retire? ​

Travel.  Greece is at the top of the list!

What is one pearl of wisdom you want to give to your students?

​Stay curious and never let anyone tell you you can’t do something!

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