Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Author photo

By Seth Romsa
Staff Writer 

SPED teacher retires after 28 years with district

 

July 16, 2020

WORLAND – Tracy Worrall has worked for Washakie County School District No. 1 for nearly 30 years, but decided to retire in order help open a spot for younger teachers to make their way into the field.

Worrall was raised in Worland prior to deciding to go to college at the University of Arizona where she received her bachelor's degree in education with a minor in special education. She decided to specialize in special education when she was diagnosed with scoliosis at 15 and was placed into Shriner's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, and witnessed a teacher helping all of the kids in the hospital that Worrall would stay at for months at a time.

After graduating from Arizona in 1981, Worrall moved to Shoshoni to teach second grade for two years, prior to moving to Worland after marrying her husband John in 1983.

When she arrived in Worland, she worked for seven years at the Children's Resource Center as the special education director, and worked at the Wyoming Boys School prior to starting at the school district.

SCHOOL DISTRICT

Worrall's first position in WCSD1 was as the resource teacher at Worland High School with special education on specific subjects such as math and reading. After holding that position for seven years, Worrall took over a different position working with special education students with more severe learning needs at the high school. After spending 15 years in that position, Worrall transitioned to West Side Elementary where she worked with the more severe population for the last six years prior to retirement this year.

"We have, and have had throughout my 28 years with the district, we have had awesome administrators that really care about our special needs kids," Worrall said. "There is not one time that I needed something for my students that it was not provided."

In total Worrall has been teaching for 38 years around the state of Wyoming, and spent 28 years with the most important populations in WCSD1. Worrall initially was not even considering retirement at the start of this year, but felt as if younger teachers deserve a chance and have new ideas along with other perspectives she may not have at this point in her career.

Worrall said that when she first started at the high school that she was the only full-time SPED teacher at the high school, and there was one part-time special educator.

"What a change from one full-time and one part-time basically, to four full-time SPED teachers at the high school, they have really come a long way in realizing that kids need a lot more help than what we were providing back then," Worrall said.

Prior to Worrall beginning with the school district, she thought back to the mid-1980s when the most severe populations from Worland schools were bused down to Thermopolis each week for instruction. She was grateful for the late Susan Mischke who helped change the narrative on special education and bring the most severe populations back to Worland for help and instruction.

Worrall also said she was also thankful for how great teachers were with having her students in their classrooms to help them be successful, as she knew it was important that students were also in normal classroom settings and not always in a special education classroom.

FUTURE PLANS AND ADVICE

Worrall said that if any younger students are looking to get into education, to remember not to be getting into it for money, even though she jokingly said that it has increased greatly from the $18,000 salary that she started out with when she started teaching.

Worrall said that she wants younger people who want to get into teaching to understand that there is a continual training that goes on, and that it is not just nine months of teaching and then "three months of fishing."

Worrall said that in retirement she is looking forward to spending time with her grandchildren, and the possibility of traveling with her husband once he retires. She said that it just feels like summer at this time, but has been told that once school starts back up that she will finally start to realize what it feels like to be retired.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2022