MVES principal Jon Reid is ready for retirement ... sort ofAfter a 36-year career in education, Meadowview Elementary School principal Jon Reid is ready to retire. Well, he’s kind of ready. Really, he’s got a good thing going at MVES.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
After a 36-year career in education, Meadowview Elementary School principal Jon Reid is ready to retire.
Well, he’s kind of ready. Really, he’s got a good thing going at MVES. Every day, he’s surrounded by energetic kids who are excited to learn and happy to be in school. And they love to see him, too. Walking through the halls, he’s greeted by “Hi, Mr. Reid!” bashful waves and random hugs. The constant enthusiasm that lives in a school building is hard to replicate, and Reid knows that.
“Sometimes you just have to say a spontaneous prayer of thanks for children,” Reid said. “You just have to say thank you for these children. They’re all so happy. That’s what I’m going to miss, that feeling of affection you get from the children.”
But still, 36 years is 36 years. It’s not that he has to retire – his wife is a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato and she plans to continue to teach for another three years – but Reid feels like the time has come.
Reid grew up on a farm in Iowa. His earliest school memories include wearing overalls to kindergarten and first grade. He didn’t live in a big town – he graduated with only 24 students in his class. Growing up, he knew early on that he would be an educator. He had two sisters who had gone into teaching, and they urged him to give it a try.
“Being a compliant brother, I did what they told me to do,” Reid joked. “But I also liked school, and it made sense to keep doing something you really liked.”
Reid pursued his teaching degree at MSU, Mankato – back then, it was Mankato State College – then found his first teaching job in Robbinsdale. He taught English and science for three years at Robbinsdale Junior High. He went on to get his masters in education administration from the University of Minnesota, and spent a year as an intern in Lakeville.
After receiving his masters, Reid took a job as an assistant principal at Farmington High School. He held that post for three years, then became an assistant principal at Farmington Junior High School, which he did for 10 years. When Akin Road Elementary opened in 1988, Reid became principal of Farmington Elementary School, where he spent the majority of the next two decades of his career. At the same time, he was principal of the district’s kindergarten center. He’s been at Meadowview Elementary since 2007.
Reid has enjoyed being on the administration side of education. While he hasn’t spent as much time in classrooms as teachers do, Reid has been able to develop good friends though the teachers in the schools, and the administrators in the school district.
“It’s fun on Mondays, when you walk around the building and catch up with what everybody was doing on the weekends,” Reid said. “I love the friendships. The friendships are the reward of this job.”
Reid isn’t entirely sure what he’ll do after he retires. He’s going to finish out the school year at Meadowview Elementary, then work through the end of June. A new school year begins July 1, and that’s when his retirement starts.
He’s got three children, all of whom are grown and living in different parts of the United States. Reid is sure he’ll do some traveling to see them, and he’s pretty sure he’ll find his way to a golf course on a fairly regular basis since he loves to golf. His mother is still in Estherville, Iowa, so Reid figures he’ll probably make it down there a few times a month.
Reid might consider teaching again. He’d want to teach at the high school level, because he likes the optimism and energy of students that age.
His decision to retire did not come easily, because there are so many things he knows he’ll miss. Still, he’s intrigued by what this new future will hold.
“I’ve really been ambivalent on this decision, but it just seems like a good thing to do,” Reid said. “I have never gone from one house to another I didn’t like better. I have never moved to a place of work I didn’t like better. I think this will be the case (with retirement), too.”
September will probably be the hardest part, though. September has long been Reid’s favorite month, because that’s when new school years start.
“School in September is something you just can’t compare. I’m going to miss that. I’m truly going to miss that,” he said.