Mrs. McLaughlin, Mrs. Jansen Near the Final Bell: Retirement


Mrs. McLaughlin, who has been teaching in the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District for nearly two decades, will retire at the end of the school year.

Faye Kuszewski and Evan Pedone

At the end of this school year, David Prouty will be saying “farewell” to two very familiar teachers: Mrs. McLaughlin and Mrs. Jansen, who have been a part of the Spencer-East Brookfield community for 19 and 23 years, respectively.

Each has been involved in various activities, committees and sports events. Their departures will leave a hole in the David Prouty community.

Mrs. McLaughlin has taught biology, forensic science and environmental science. She was the advisor to the class of 2018 and has guided student council for 18 years. You may have seen her at a number of the boys’ basketball home games because she has been running their shot clock for about 11 years. In 2013, her envirothon team placed among the top 10 in the Massachusetts Envirothon Competition. She says she was very proud to have earned the AP teachers award for her environmental science class in the spring of 2017.

Her retirement plans include traveling across the country to visit presidential libraries and national parks in her camper, as well as visiting nursing homes with the Pulaski Brass Band and marching in parades with another band in which she plays tenor saxophone. She advises new teachers to, “have a lot of patience, go with the flow, and get involved.” Mrs. McLaughlin hopes to see a new Prouty built with more students to attend it.

Mrs. Jansen is a special education teacher who was once a yearbook advisor during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. In retirement, she plans to spend more time with her children and grandchildren. In her free time, she hopes to travel across the country and see national parks. To new teachers, she says to get involved with the students and participate in the organizations offered by the school and community. Like Mrs. McLaughlin, Mrs. Jansen hopes for David Prouty to have a new school built and that “the halls be filled with Prouty Pride” in the future. She would be happy to see it become one of the most academically inclined schools in the region with more music programs and successful sports teams.

Mrs, Jansen, a life skills teacher, plans to spend more time with her children and grandchildren after she retires in June.

Both teachers have become very prominent people as they’ve tallied years for their time spent in this district. Together, they have led the student council while also helping life skills students participate in multiple Special Olympics events.

Mrs. Thibeault, a fellow science teacher, says, “I have come to know Mrs. McLaughlin as a very hardworking and dedicated teacher to her classes and student council.” Each has enjoyed watching students grow and mature over the years, while neither will miss correcting papers or cleaning off their cars on snowy days.

“Mrs. Jansen is very knowledgeable when it comes to the life skills students,” says Mrs. Hayes, an aide in Life Skills. “She understands their needs and their abilities. Her number one priority is to meet the students where there are at and to bring them as far as they can go.”