The final bell, part 3 of 3

by Susan McFarland

North Texas Catholic

Susan Overcash teaches at St. John the Apostle School in North Richland Hills. (NTC photo/Jayme Shedenhelm)


A teacher’s day can be hectic, unpredictable, and emotional. In May, the craziness multiplies with final papers to grade, multi-page checklists of tasks to be done before the final day of school, and boxing up supplies for the summer.

The North Texas Catholic was invited to spend a little time with three area teachers who will be packing up their classroom for the final time, something that brings a new set of emotions as they say goodbye to the work they love.

Combined, these three teachers have more than 100 years of experience between them and have been a blessing to so many children. However, the teachers are the ones who feel blessed by the experience.

Each shares a little about their family, their faith, their teaching experience, and what they plan to do with life after the classroom. Here's our third teacher:

Susan Overcash, St. John the Apostle Catholic School in North Richland Hills

  • Second grade teacher
  • Length of employment: 38 years teaching, with 36 of those at St. John mostly in second grade.
  • Parish: St. John the Apostle
  • Family: Married with two sons, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild 
Susan Overcash (NTC photo/Jayme Shedenhelm)

 
On Catholic faith:

Overcash was raised Catholic and said teaching the faith has strengthened her faith over the years.

“I love preparing students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Their innocence and enthusiasm about their love of God is heartwarming,” Overcash said. “Having that spiritual connection has afforded me the opportunity to read at former students’ weddings, be a Confirmation sponsor to several, and attend countless graduations and weddings.”

She said it is also fun to pull out pictures of her current student’s parents whom she also taught when they attended second grade.

“Watching the little preschoolers travel through the grades and grow into strong, faith-filled young people is one of my favorite things!”

On teaching:

Overcash said teaching at St. John’s for over half of her life has been a great blessing.

“I took my job here initially because I could not even get an interview at the time in public school. I thought I would stay until I could find a job in public school … [I] never again tried for an interview — teaching at St. John is like being with your family,” she said. “We have an incredible community spirit here among parish, students, parents, and faculty. It is hard to explain to others unless you are blessed to experience it.”

She said when former students come back to visit her they always ask if she still has Corduroy – the class traveling bear.

“They want to know if I still do some of the same fun things we did when they were in class,” she said.

Overcash was recently honored to be mentioned in a former student’s acceptance speech when she received her own Teacher of the Year award.

“I hope I will be remembered as one of those teachers that inspired a love of learning in my students,” she said. 

On retirement:

Overcash, being a “very routine” person, said she will definitely miss that structure.

“I will just have to get a new routine going,” she said.

Overcash said she has mixed feelings about retirement.

“I will miss most the laughter and camaraderie that we have here at SJS,” she said. “I will enjoy my family, travel, read all the books I have been wanting to read, do some volunteer work, and of course be a substitute teacher at SJS!”

Overcash’s love for her work was evident in a sign that hung over her desk that says, “I Love Being Here.”

Third of three parts highlighting teachers who are retiring: “I love preparing students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Their innocence and enthusiasm about their love of God is heartwarming,” said Susan Overcash.

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