This is Home - Elementary school teacher retires after 38 years of teaching

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 5:41 PM EDT
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Not many people in life truly shape who we are.

But Mariann McFarland, a newly retired teacher who taught first grade at St. Mary Catholic School in Marietta for 38 years.

“There are students who are doctors, there are students who are lawyers, There are teachers, there are people that are involved in the trade. It’s really a whole gamut of occupations that the students have gone on to get involved in,” says McFarland.

Over her career at St. Mary Catholic School in Marietta that spanned nearly four decades, McFarland was able to shape the lives of more than 700 students.

“It makes you feel like…’yeah, it worked.’ They went on and they continued to make the progress I saw them making in first grade and that they continued to learn and become adult citizens that are making a difference in the world. It makes you feel good," she emphasizes.

The school held a reception for McFarland a few weeks ago where students were able to share thank you noted and other heartfelt messages with one of their most impressionable influences.

“It makes me feel rather special in that you don’t think about that when you’re going through helping boys and girls learn. You just start trying to help them learn and you don’t really stop and think about what it’s going to be like down the road, it’s trying to help them at the time,” she says.

As for retirement, McFarland plans to continue substitute teaching. She says that she couldn’t have imagined spending her career in a more meaningful way.

“It was a calling. That’s why I’ve enjoyed it so, because I know that’s where I’m supposed to be.”


There are a few things from our childhood that we always remember. We remember our best friend, we remember our first crush, and we remember our first grade teacher.

Mariann McFarland has been a teacher at St. Mary Catholic School in Marietta for the past 38 years.

On Monday, the school held a small retirement event where some of her more than 700 former students were able to share notes and thank her.

She says that the students are her favorite part of the job.

“I just love the children. They’re different every year; they learn different things every year. They always come with a nice variety of personalities. They’re just wonderful kids to have the chance to spend a little bit of time with,” she says.

McFarland is an alumni of the elementary school herself, and a graduate of Williamston High School.

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