PASCO COUNTY — PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- Wednesday is the last day of school in Pasco County and it marks the end of one of the district's longest teaching careers.
“What’s the reason you ended up staying at this same school all these years?" I asked Jan Coad.
“Because I love it," she said.
Coad came to Shady Hills Elementary as an intern in 1981 when Jimmy Carter was President.
And she never left.
“It’s a really great place to work. The children are good. The families are good," Coad said. "The administration’s always been good no matter which one it was.”
After 38 years teaching. All at Shady Hills. Coad is finally retiring.
“I’ve been having to put away a lot of things and when I go through them, I remember a lot and it’s bringing back a lot of memories,” she said.
Most of her time has been with first graders.
Coad has been here so long, she’s taught many of her former students’ children.
“And I don’t want to have any grandkids of kids,” she said.
“Her dedication to the students goes far above and beyond," said school secretary Alicia Fisher.
Not only did she spend her entire teaching career at Shady Hills. She also came up through the Pasco County school system as a student, graduating from Land O’ Lakes High School.
“What do you say to teachers who are just getting started in this profession?” I asked.
“Well you gotta love it. If you don’t love it," Coad said. "It’s gonna be hard. It’s not going to be easy but it’s rewarding.”
Jan says it probably won’t hit her until the next school year starts when for the first time after almost four decades, she won’t be teaching.
“It’s been my life. And I’m just ready to go to the next part of my life.”
She plans to spend more time with her husband restoring her home and traveling.