Pam Diecidue did not originally want to become a teacher. She wanted to learn more languages and work for the United Nations or the Peace Corps.

Pam Diecidue did not originally want to become a teacher. She wanted to learn more languages and work for the United Nations or the Peace Corps.

However, her parents wanted her to take at least one education class. The rest, they say, is history.

“I went to a great small college, and the first education class put us in an internship right off the bat,” she said. “I was hooked.”

Although a difficult decision, Diecidue has decided to leave the place where she has called home for the last 36 years – William Chrisman High School. She will be retiring as a Spanish teacher at the end of the school year.

“I cried for two nights at home while my husband helped me go through the pros and cons of retirement. Financially, I would be making less money from now on if I didn't retire, so I had to take it,” she said. “It is the kids that I will miss the most. Absolutely, the kids.”

One of the events that Diecidue’s name has become synonymous with during her time at William Chrisman is the Foreign Language Festival. Diecidue started the festival in only her second year at William Chrisman. Giving students the opportunity to learn about different cultures and showcasing their talent, it is still going strong 35 years later.

“I started it because I wanted to build my program and give all kids a chance to learn how to plan and lead and perform,” she said. “I am not surprised it is still going strong. Parents love to see their kids perform, the kids love the responsibility of running the carnival and the fun of being in the show.”

Amanda Drinkwater, a Spanish teacher at William Chrisman and also Diecidue’s daughter, said she remembers coming to the festival as a young child. The purpose then is the same now, and Diecidue should be proud of what it has become.

“The kids run this and they get to see how much hard work goes into planning an event as large as this,” she said. “They know what to do and really come into their own running their games. It is sort of like little businesses to them.”

Diecidue said it is hard to narrow down what she will miss most about William Chrisman, but the students are first and foremost in those memories.

“The kids’ happiness when they are successful on assessments and can use the language. Getting the kids dressed in our costumes for the first time and seeing them running down the hall in ponchos, lederhosen and big skirts – playing dress up all over again and loving it. The Maypole dance working correctly,” she said. “Seeing former students at Open House and having their kids in my class. Seeing former students, including my daughter, become Spanish teachers. Seeing former students become teachers. Listening to my cadet teachers talk about their devotion to the idea that good teachers always ask ‘Is it good for the kids?’”

Luckily, Diecidue will not be going far next year. She will be teaching part time in the district’s Becoming a Teacher Cadet Academy. She also has plans of traveling to a foreign country with her husband and not teenagers.

“I enjoy the kids and their ‘ah ha’ moments,” she said. “I also enjoy their curiosity about different cultures, and my colleagues in the foreign language department for their collaboration, sharing of instructional strategies and their endless support and enthusiasm for foreign languages and cultures. That is what I will miss.”