When interviewing those who are retiring, it’s often a teary conversation you might expect.
But sitting down with Linda Landes and Shirley Couch in Morgan Mill Superintendent Dean Edwards’ office last week, the opposite happened.
There was laughter. Lots of it.
Landes and Couch have worked for Morgan Mill ISD for years and are set to retire in May.
There was one person in the room, however, who did get a little emotional.
“I can’t tell you the depth of my love for these ladies,” Edwards said, tearing up.
Landes has been with the school for 35 years - and is described as having done just about everything.
“The better question to ask is, ‘What doesn’t she handle?’” Edwards said. “She is the bookkeeper and administrative assistant. She passes out bandaids and is responsible for much of our reporting to the state. She does all the things I’m not smart enough to do.”
She is also a sprinter.
The three erupted into laughter when they recalled the time Mrs. Landes chased down a kindergarten student who was trying to make a break for it.
“She was looking out the window and saw that child running down the street,” Edwards recalled. “She chased him down, caught him and brought him back to class.”
That easy banter comes naturally for Edwards, Landes and Couch who say they are more than just co-workers.
“We are a big family here,” Couch said. “We have become part of their lives and they have become part of ours.”
Couch has been a teacher at Morgan Mill for 41 years and is also the principal. She says there are only two things she doesn’t do - drive a bus or sponsor cheerleaders. She is also credited with starting the school’s library, which Edwards says is “second to none for a school our size.”
The women say as the school year comes to an end, there won’t be a lot of tears. Instead, they are hopeful about the school’s future and looking forward to retirement.
“I’m excited because there are a couple of young folks who are taking our positions,” Couch said. “I feel very confident in their abilities. They will keep the school going in the right direction and be progressive. That’s why we know it’s time to leave.”