Q&A: Ancell plans to retire after 23 years at MHS

Ancell teaches one of her last, first semester chemistry classes.

Morgan Tropf

Ancell teaches one of her last, first semester chemistry classes.

Morgan Tropf, Guest Writer

In an exclusive interview, The Paw Print’s Morgan Tropf sat down with science teacher Barb Ancell about her upcoming retirement.  

Morgan: How many years have you been teaching at Mayfield?
Ancell: At Mayfield 23 years.

Morgan: Wow that’s a long time! Did you previously teach at any other schools?
Ancell: Yes, I taught at North Ridgeville before Mayfield.

Morgan: Oh, which district did you enjoy teaching at more, why?
Ancell: This one because it’s richer. I was able to get a lot more equipment, which is important especially because this is science. It’s really difficult to teach a chemistry class if the school district can’t afford any of the equipment to do any labs. I’ve enjoyed it here much more.

Morgan: That’s good! Have you always taught chemistry or have you taught other classes as well?
Ancell: I taught physics and chemistry for the first two years that I was teaching and after that, I just taught chemistry

Morgan: So I take it you enjoy teaching chemistry better?
Ancell: Oh ya! That was what my major was, doing chemistry, I really enjoy it!

Morgan: Did you enjoy you always want to be a high school teacher?
Ancell: Yes I always wanted to teach high school. I enjoy high school. Little kids have way too much energy for me. They’re sweet, they’re adorable but it’s just too much energy for me. I always think that elementary school teachers just deserve medals, every single one of them.

Morgan: I think all teachers deserve medals. each grade has a different challenge! Is there anything you would change about your years as a teacher, if so what would it be?
Ancell: I wish that I could come into the profession with more experience. I just feel like every year I’ve gotten better. I understand the process of teaching better and I finally know what I’m doing now, of what will most benefit the students and I’m getting ready to retire now. I’m sure it’s that way in every profession, just when you feel you’re at your best it’s when you go.

Morgan: How did you decide that you were ready to retire?
Ancell: I did not come into teaching until I was 38 years old, so I’m 63 almost now. It’s just time. The age distance from yourself and your students just gets bigger every year and pretty soon you just feel like the gulf is too big. When you start to feel that way I think that’s when you make the decision that it’s time to go. Someone younger needs to come in.

Morgan: Are you more excited or sad to leave?
Ancell: I’ll miss the teaching, I will. I am very excited to leave though. It’s time for me to leave and someone younger with more energy to come in.

Morgan: What do you think you are you going to miss most after you retire?
Ancell: I will miss the chemistry, being able to do chemistry every day, and all the equipment is here, all the chemicals are here. I can do whatever I want and of course, I don’t have that opportunity at home.

Morgan: Who are you going to miss the most after you retire?
Ancell: Probably the people in my department itself because clearly, they’re in science because they have a like mindset to me. It’s nice to interact with people that have a similar mindset to yourself. Its rare out in the world that you will find yourself in a group of science people.

Morgan: That is a very good point! I never thought of it that way! What are you most excited about going into your retirement?
Ancell: My husband and I have plans to travel, of course. Everybody wants to do that. Hopefully, we are in a situation to do that. So I’m looking forward to traveling to warmer climates in the winter and playing golf instead of being in front of the fire.

Morgan: That sounds fun! Are you moving somewhere warmer or just visiting different places?
Ancell: We already moved. We moved at the end of last year because we knew this was coming so we found our “retirement house” last year.

Morgan: You seem to be very well prepared! Is your new home still in Ohio/ Mayfield?
Ancell: Oh yeah it is still in Ohio.

Morgan: That’s great! What trip are you looking forward to the most?
Ancell: My husband and I have never gone overseas together before so I’m hoping that we can take an overseas trip together.

Morgan: That sound like so much fun! Do you have any big plans this summer to celebrate?
Ancell: No, I actually love to garden so I am going to spend the summer doing my gardening and we probably won’t leave Ohio until the winter when it starts getting bad.