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Closing a career

Educator retiring after 35 years

Educator retiring after 35 years

March 26, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - After 35 years with Washington County Public Schools, JoEtta Palkovitz-Brown will retire at the end of the school year.

Palkovitz-Brown, 56, began her teaching career in 1973 as a third-grade teacher at Bester Elementary School in Hagerstown. She has been in her current role as assistant superintendent for elementary instruction for about five years.

"I've spent my entire career as an educator in Washington County," she said. "I think that's becoming more rare."

For that entire time, her focus has been elementary school children. Palkovitz-Brown said she enjoys knowing that she has a part in a child's foundation for learning.

"I just love that age child," she said.

Palkovitz-Brown, who lives in Waynesboro, Pa., said she considered retiring last year, but that a "variety of factors" led to her decision to stay for the 2006-07 school year.

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She said she's looking forward to spending more time with her husband, Thomas Brown, who retired three years ago as an administrator with Frederick County Public Schools, and her grandchildren. Palkovitz-Brown also plans to travel, and play golf and tennis.

What she will miss most about working in Washington County Public Schools is the people - the students and her colleagues, she said.

After teaching at Bester Elementary School, she taught second grade at Fountaindale Elementary School.

While there, she also taught migrant students during summer sessions. The program no longer exists, but Palkovitz-Brown said she taught the children of migrant workers who were in Washington County for the summer to work on many of the county's farms.

Palkovitz-Brown also worked as a Title I program coordinator for English/language arts before she returned to Bester Elementary School as assistant principal.

She was principal at Cascade Elementary School when Fort Ritchie was open and the school enrolled about 350 students.

Palkovitz-Brown then went to work at the school system's central office as director of elementary education. She left to work as principal at Old Forge Elementary School before returning in her current role as assistant superintendent for elementary education.

"It's been a very exciting 35-year voyage," she said. "I enjoyed each and every experience and opportunity I had."

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