As we celebrate the close of the 2023 school year, we also celebrate, albeit with some tears, the retirement of two of our long-time teachers: Mrs. Mary Ryder (right) and Mrs. Carolyn Woodford (left). During a both funny and tearful sendoff at the Senior High, Mr. Louis Blair and Mrs. Rebecca Lapic, respectively, paid homage to their colleagues this week. “Mary, the impact you’ve had here–the void–won’t be able to be filled. We’re going to miss you, and we appreciate everything you’ve done for us, for students and for the community,” said Mr. Blair. “Carolyn, we all know the impact that you’ve made on lives because of the work that you did,” said Mrs. Lapic. “It wasn’t just here (in Exeter)--your work reached so far out of this school to other countries,” she said in reference to Mrs. Woodford’s long-time coordination and support of the German-American exchange program, known as GAPP.
In 2005, Mrs. Ryder was hired to teach Social Studies at the Junior High, eventually moving to the Senior High. Mr. Louis Blair, her colleague at both schools, describes her as a passionate teacher who was deeply valued in his department. “People always listened when she spoke,” he said.
In 1990, Mrs. Woodford was hired to teach German at the Senior High, eventually also teaching German at the Junior High. “You have given so much energy and compassion to your work,” Mrs. Lapic said in a video send-off that the World Languages department created for her. “Thirty-three years (of teaching) is really a testament to the type of person that you are.”
“Both Mary and Carolyn were truly dedicated to bringing real-world experiences to students,” said Principal Tom Campbell. “Mary deeply loves government and the creation of government, and she worked to create learning experiences for students to see first-hand how government works by meeting with legislators and seeing them in person at work. These experiences both in and outside of her classroom allowed them to see their potential to become an engaged citizen,” he said. “With Carolyn, she was so enthusiastic about German language and culture, and felt the best way to make that relevant to kids living in the United States was to form opportunities for travel through the GAPP program, which was something that she truly left her mark on here at Exeter.” he said, continuing, “Both will definitely be missed.”
Congratulations and many thanks for all of your years of service, Mrs. Ryder and Mrs. Woodford; Exeter wishes you all of the best in your well-earned retirement!